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  • Warren Shoulberg

Kathy Hilton Moves Into Home

Kathy HiltonKathy Hilton, here with Alok president Arun Agarwal, is going to use her personal and business background with hotels to bring her new collection to market, where it will be previewed this week.
BEL AIR, CALIF. - There's a Hilton coming to your home soon.
     The Hilton in question is not the famous hotel chain, but Kathy Hilton, two generations south of Barron Hilton, the creator of the Hilton Hotel empire and one generation north of her daughters, Paris and Nicky, who ... well, no need for an introduction to any followers of pop culture.
     But Kathy Hilton is not just in between. A designer and home furnishings retailer in her own right, she is launching her first line of bedding, bath and spa products this market at Alok. The line will be sneak-previewed in New York this week and will get its official full rollout later in the year.
     "I love it," said Hilton in an exclusive phone interview with HTT from her beach house here. "I like to play house, and I really believe that sheets and towels can change a room."
     There will be three collections in Kathy Hilton Home, according to Arun Agarwal, president of Alok. "They will all be in the affordable luxury category," he said, "but sophisticated. We're going to be taking the defining quality of hotel design and use it in a contemporary home setting. You'll see a collection that will be defined by serenity and calmness, combining the principles of yoga with design."
     But it's not just personal experiences that are inspiring Hilton, though she has plenty of those. "On the last four houses I've lived in, I've worked with the decorators directly. I learned a lot about scale, and I also learned a lot about working on a budget. I'm very hands-on."
     Where she really knows the home furnishings business is from the other side of the cash register, having owned and run a store called Staircase in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1990 that featured furniture, textiles, candles and other decorative accessories. She created some of the products sold at the store, including holiday items, which led to a stint selling on QVC.
     The combination of the two has prepared her well for this new line. "Over the years I've collected pillowcases, hand towels and cocktail napkins, and these are some of my inspirations for the new line. It also comes from my garden and from my travels," she said. "In my house I mix a lot of antiques with modern pieces"
     Hilton describes her bedroom as a pure blue-and-white story while her kitchen is totally white. "I enjoy this house."
     Agarwal said Alok is already in discussions on retail placements and expects to place product in several distribution channels. The full line will be shown at September New York market.
     And is anyone else in the Hilton family involved in the new line, namely Kathy's famous daughters? "I always ask the girls about these products. I'm doing a line for all my children and then my grandchildren, too."
     She also cited the Claridge Hotel in London as one of her favorite places and, oh, by the way, she lived at the Waldorf Astoria, the Hilton flagship in New York, for eight years. "It's funny that I mention hotels so much, isn't it?"

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