The Truth About Nicky Hilton's Collaboration With French Sole

The 1990s socialite and reality TV star Nicky Hilton stands out from her sister, Paris Hilton, in multiple ways. But whatever happened to Nicky Hilton? Well, after leaving the reality TV scene, she became a fashion mogul and shoe designer. Her ongoing collaboration with the shoe brand French Sole highlights yet another example of how the younger Hilton sister has come into her own as a successful businesswoman. Nicky is set on expanding her net worth through her love of fashion, and she's just getting started.

Nicky has been partnering with French Sole since 2019, and her most recent collab with the company features an elegant and colorful assortments of ballet flats, sneakers, heels, and loafers. Her partnership with the brand continues to stand out as one of many savvy money moves on Nicki's part, but the inspiration behind the latest line can be traced back to her teen years. And with new fashion technology, Nicki has been able to combine her love of design with her desire to be more sustainable.

Nicki has always expressed herself through footwear

Nicky Hilton grew up attending Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls Catholic school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While discussing the launch of her latest line with French Sole, Hilton told Interview Magazine how footwear was her only way to express her individuality through fashion at the school, given its clothing rules. "You had a uniform," she said. "[W]e were not to wear makeup and nail polish. The only way of expressing ourselves was through our shoes."

Cue French Sole, a brand she discovered in her youth that has stuck with her ever since. "I stumbled upon this French Sole flagship on my walk home from school one day and I just fell in love with the shoes," she told Interview Magazine. From there, her relationship with the brand grew naturally, culminating in her chance to design alongside the women's shoe brand.

"[T]he collaboration was pretty organic," she revealed. "I've been a customer since I'm a teenager and now I'm a collaborator in my adulthood." As for venturing into shoes, Hilton found that it flowed with her other apparel interests, she told Footwear News when she first launched her designs with French Sole in 2019. "This was the missing link," she said. "It was a fun experience that was completely new and different compared to clothing. If I want to put a bow on a shoe, I can [choose] from thousands. The options are endless."

Nicki Hilton was inspired by Audrey Hepburn

Nicky Hilton has been a fashion insider since her youth. As a designer and style idol in her own right, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine she had a professional stylist by her side. That's not to say, however, that Hilton hasn't been inspired by the fashion icons who came before her. In fact, the reality TV star revealed that she drew design-motivation from the golden age of Hollywood. 

In a conversation with Interview Magazine, Hilton gushed about how the iconic actor Audrey Hepburn served as her fashion muse. Ballet flats were always a signature of Hepburns', so it's easy to see how they caught Hilton's eye. "I kind of fell in love with [ballet flats] years ago, just seeing those old images of Audrey Hepburn and her cigarette pant, her turtleneck, and her chic ballet flats. I love the effortless elegance of a ballet flat," Hilton said. She additionally told Bella Magazine that her style is best described as "sophisticated with an edge." With street style looks that are reminiscent of Hepburn's chic wardrobe, Hilton seems to have truly adopted her muse's fashion sense.

Sustainability was a big part of her latest collab

Nicky Hilton's new line with French Sole is unique not just for its range of colors and designs; it takes sustainability seriously. For Hilton, that wasn't just a business goal. "I consider myself a pretty eco-conscious person. I'm not perfect, but I try and do my best," she told Interview Magazine. The production of this latest line featured new technology made to minimize some of the negative environmental effects of the fashion industry. "[M]ore recently, there's been so many new, amazing, sustainable materials to use," she added.

Hilton hopes that the shifts will be one step in making fast fashion less destructive for the planet. "When you hear the statistics, it's quite startling. Like a non-biodegradable garment can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to decompose. So, I think if everyone starts using more sustainable fabrics and using sustainable factories, if everyone did a little, I think it would make a huge change," she told Cheddar News.

Hilton talked to Green Matters about her ongoing journey into becoming more eco-conscious, too, saying that her mindfulness around the issue has developed over the years. "This step within my own brand is something I'm very passionate about," she said. "All shoes wear out eventually, so creating footwear that isn't harmful to the planet and can eventually be recycled is extremely beneficial. It is a small-yet big-step in the right direction."

Nicki used the collab to honor the women in her family

Nicky Hilton has been collaborating with French Sole since 2019, according to People, and since the start of her professional partnership with the footwear brand, Hilton has used the platform to honor the women in her family. The names of some of her designs include "Kathy" and "Paris," nods to her mother and sister.

Nicky's mother Kathy Hilton gushed to Hello! Magazine about how much she loves being involved with her grandchildren. She tries to be a "hands-on" grandmother "as much as [she] can be." As for her sister, Nicky told Us Weekly that she always makes sure her daughters spend time with their aunt when they can. "When [Paris] visits New York, I'll take them over to her loft, and they'll just look at her dolls and her trinkets and her figurines and then the little dogs, and they just are in heaven," Nicky said in 2019.

And Nicky isn't the only Hilton sister who takes time to give shout-outs to the women in her life. In a collaborative guide from Vogue, Nicky's older sister Paris Hilton discussed how important it is to show appreciation for one another and their mother. "My sister and I got our love for fashion and beauty from our mom," Paris told Vogue. And for Mother's Day, her mother Kathy wasn't the only mom Paris celebrated. "I am celebrating my sister Nicky who is an amazing mom!" she said. 

She partnered with longtime friend and founder of alice + olivia, Stacey Bendet

In her latest line from French Sole, Nicky Hilton took the opportunity to loop in another designer and close friend, Stacey Bendet (via People). CEO and founder of alice + olivia, Bendet has established herself as a fellow successful fashion-minded businesswoman.

"Stacey is not just one of my closest friends, but a fashion designer, philanthropist, and mother that I have long admired," Hilton told People. "Stacey has an incredible eye. We have been friends for over 20 years, and I have been wearing alice + olivia since I was a teenager. I was extremely excited to team up with her to create these limited-edition flats."

Hilton supported Bendet at New York Fashion Week in February, attending her friend's show while displaying her baby bump to the public. "Bumping around!" Hilton wrote in an Instagram post that highlighted the alice + olivia brand.

The admiration is mutual. "I love Nicky's style and design aesthetic," Bendet told People. "She's been my friend and muse for over 20 years and it is so fun to get to collaborate on shoes together! I love her emphasis on eco and sustainable materials, and I love how her flats pair back to all our spring dresses!"

Nicki has passed down her love of fashion to her daughters

With two young daughters and another baby on the way, Nicky Hilton seems to have made an interest in style a hereditary trait. In an interview with People, Hilton shared insight into the joy her daughters experience when getting a chance to dress up, especially if it includes a whimsical touch. "My daughters definitely love fashion and dressing up," she told People. "They usually gravitate towards Disney princess costumes and anything with unicorns or rainbows."

It seems that Hilton's daughters appreciate vibrant colors as much as she does. In an Instagram post from October 2021, Hilton showed off her "little pumpkins" clad in colorful red and purple overalls. Though, from Hilton's words, it appears her girls prefer to don outfits like the unicorn-inspired dresses from a July 2021 Instagram post.

Hilton knows that her daughters will eventually grow into their own when it comes to their fashion. "I'm fully aware that I only have a few more years of dressing them in clothes that I pick, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts!" she told People. And whatever path her daughters take on their fashion journey, they for sure have their mom to thank for introducing them to savvy styles.