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Paris Hilton to launch her brand at Shoppers Stop

Sagar Malviya and Sarah Jacob, The Economic Times

26 August 2011, Mumbai/Bangalore

Paris Hilton — American actor, singer, fashionista and great-grand daughter of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton — will spread her business empire to India next month by launching her handbags and fashion accessories.

The 30-year-old celebrity, who helped Chihuahuas become fashionable, will travel to India for the launch of her eponymous brand at Shoppers Stop, the department store chain’s MD and customer care associate Govind Shrikhande said.

Shoppers Stop will open Paris Hilton shop-in-shops across its metro stores. Paris Hilton built a brand around her celebrity lifestyle over the past few years. She has 17 product lines including fragrances, apparel, footwear, music albums, sunglasses, pet products, stationery, bedding and handbags.

Earlier this year, Hilton admitted to CNN that she earns upwards of $10 million a year without divulging the true extent of her earnings. If that was not enough, Hilton launched a Moto Grand Prix team called SuperMartxe VIP last year and plans to follow through with hotels and beach clubs.

Betting on her brand recall, Shoppers Stop will position the brand at a premium, targeted at the rich and upper middle-class consumer base.

"Paris Hilton’s personality may be aspirational for a consumer well under 30 years of age," says retail and consumer products consultancy Third Eyesight Chief Executive Devangshu Dutta.

Indore-based Brand Concepts will distribute Hilton’s bags in India. The company also distributes handbags by Indian designer Rocky S, which is largely retailed through Shoppers Stop. The American handbags and accessories brand, co-designed by Hilton and monogrammed with her initial and a crown, has 30 stores across 35 countries including Philippines, Bahrain and Malaysia.

It will add to Shoppers Stop’s handbags line such as Hidesign and Elliza Donatein, which are the largest selling brands. Analysts say it makes sense for Paris Hilton brand to first bring handbags and accessories.

"Accessories is the first category that consumers use to upgrade, either from the mass segment to the premium segment or from there to luxury," says management consulting firm Technopak Advisors Senior VP Saloni Nangia. "The brand here acts as the pull to draw consumers to upgrade faster," she adds.

The woman’s fashion accessories market in the country is estimated at 6,000-6,500 crore, growing anywhere between 8-20%. Branded goods account for 12-15% of this market, according to data from Technopak Advisors.

Other international brands in Shoppers Stop’s portfolio include infant products brand Mothercare and apparel brands Mustang and Austin Reed. It also operates stores for skincare brand Clinique and cosmetic brands Estee Lauder and MAC.

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