Nicky Hilton On Throwback Trends And The Future Of Sustainable Fashion
Nicky Hilton has teamed up once again with French Sole on a chic footwear collection that has something for everyone. The difference? This time around, the offering is 100% sustainable too. The line consists of four environmentally-conscious styles crafted using recycled and organic materials and is now available exclusively through her close friend Amanda Hearst’s platform, Maison De Mode. In honor of Earth Month, the mom-of-two will also be donating 10% of April sales to Well Beings Charity, an environmental and animal welfare organization. To celebrate the new collection, we hopped on the phone with Hilton to get the suss! Here’s what you need to know…
This is your fourth season collaborating with French Sole. How much has changed since you first started working together?
A whole lot has changed! I mean, there’s been a global pandemic, for one!
This is the first ever 100% sustainable collection—why is this issue close to your heart?
I try and lead a more sustainable life every day. I consider myself a pretty eco-conscious person—I’m not perfect, but I try and do my part. Even doing small things: like bringing reusable bags to the market, turning lights off when I leave the room, buying sustainable products.
You’ve wanted to create a sustainable collection for a while, why was the timing right this time around?
We found this fantastic factory in Spain that specializes in sustainable materials. It was very interesting learning how far they have come. When I was sourcing for the soles of the shoes, it was crazy to see all these different options: used tires, recycled water bottles, plant-based soles, and so on. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, and with all these new materials available to the market—it seemed like perfect timing!
Tell us about Well Beings and why it’s important to you?
It’s an animal welfare and conservation organization, started by Amanda and her friend Breanna [Schultz]. When I decided to launch the sustainable collection on [Hearst’s luxury ethical fashion site] Maison De Mode, I told Amanda that I wanted to give a portion of the sales to her favorite charity—so obviously she chose this one! I always like to add a charity component with my projects.
Amanda is notably passionate about sustainability in fashion—what lessons has she taught you?
She has introduced me to some of my favorite sustainable brands, like St Roche and Silvia Tcherassi, and she’s educated me on the importance of buying fair trade, cruelty-free, and ethical. We have so much choice as a consumer, it’s important to use your dollars wisely and for the benefit of the world.
Is your own relationship with shopping different as a result of this awareness and your industry experience?
Absolutely! I think now, more than ever, people are shopping with a purpose and they’re really looking at the labels, ingredients, where it’s made, what’s in it, and if it’s organic. I’m always interested in the backstory of a company and interested in learning where it’s made, what’s in it, and who’s making it.
You’ve been in the fashion industry for a long time, what mentors have been instrumental along the way?
Someone who is a family friend and whom I really admire is Diane von Furstenberg. I love how she puts her family first: her children, husband, and grandchildren are her world. I love that she’s an activist, a feminist, and a philanthropist. She really uses her platform for good and I love how she empowers women. She’s been really supportive of the human trafficking organization, LifeWay Network, that I do a lot of work with.
You and Paris have had a very high fashion year, working with brands like Valentino and landing magazine covers! What do you think it is about your style as sisters that people still relate to?
I think people love a sister bond, it’s so unique and special. [As for our style]…I don’t know? You tell me!
We’ve seen the resurgence of a lot of nineties/noughties trends, are you happy to see them come back?
I find it really nostalgic and fun. I love Juicy Couture—it’s iconic! I love bucket hats being back and slip dresses. It brings me back to a different time.
Do you still have yours from back in the day?
When I was burglarized in L.A., sadly they took a lot of that stuff. They took all of my Dior saddle bags, Fendi baguettes, and all of my Louis Vuitton x Sprouses.
What old school trends do you hope stay in the past?
I’m not into the whole bike shorts and crop tops thing—that’s not cute to me!
What Spring ‘21 trends are you looking forward to dabbling in? Are you excited to get dressed up again?
I think there’s so much pent-up energy to get dressed up and go out. I know I’m looking forward to putting heels and a dress on again. Alice & Olivia have some beautiful floral spring dresses that I have my eyes on, as does Oscar de la Renta.
I saw you in a really cute Sleeper dress on Instagram. I love that brand!
That was actually Amanda’s dress, it’s super cute! I didn’t know they were sustainable until she introduced me, I love them now.
How would you describe your style these days? Has it changed much since the pandemic?
I mean, I’m definitely more casual these days. I’m usually in a tracksuit. There are some great brands doing tracksuits, like Quince who makes cashmere ones. Alice & Olivia has some chic tracksuits too. I don’t even remember wearing heels…
but I’ve been wearing my French Soles a lot!
What’s on your 2021 bucket list?
I would definitely like to go to London to visit my in-laws. It’s been so long since we’ve seen them. Hopefully when travel restrictions lift, we can make the trip across the pond. Apart from that, we’ve no concrete plans: it’s sort of up in the air. I’m excited to see New York coming back. The weather is beautiful, the streets are crowded, and I’m very optimistic!