Take it from Nicky Hilton: ‘Sustainability is always in fashion’

When it comes to fashion, Nicky Hilton loves to show her style.

The model-turned-entrepreneur has graced the fashion industry with her clothing line, jewelry designs, handbags and her latest venture, sustainable footwear.

From the runway to launching her own business to motherhood, Hilton can do it all. As she takes a look back on her life and career, she reflects on some of the biggest lessons she’s learned along the way.

It’s important to say no

As a child, Hilton describes herself as reserved.

“Young Nicky was very shy, very quiet, very observant and definitely an introvert,” Hilton told “Good Morning America.”

From a young age, she knew family meant everything.

“My mom is my best friend,” Hilton shared. “She’s taught me everything from business to being a mother myself.”

She attributes one of her greatest life lessons to her mom.

“She’s taught me to say no, and that it’s important to set rules and have structure,” she said.

Not everything online is real

Hilton grew up close to her sister, Paris, who became well known for modeling and her entrepreneurial ventures.

“My sister and I are extremely close,” she said. “This was Paris and I getting our first cars, a very exciting day for anyone.”

The sisters often made public appearances together and have partnered on numerous projects.

Hilton said she admires her sister for her work ethic and resilience.

“My sister is one of the most resilient people I have ever met,” she said. “Whenever she gets knocked off the horse, she just gets right back on.”

Hilton grew up no stranger to the spotlight, often being featured in the press alongside her family.

“For me, growing up, when a tabloid would write something, I was always told by my parents, ‘Just don’t respond, ignore it,'” she said.

“I think growing up today must be so different because you don’t know what’s real on social media.”

Although Hilton approaches social media with caution, she also said it has the power to connect and lift up people for the greater good.

“There are a lot of benefits to social media if you use it in the right ways,” she said.

Be patient and understanding

In 2016, Hilton became a mother.

“The two things that scare me most are going to the dentist and giving birth,” she said. “But luckily, it was very, very wonderful, both pregnancy and birth.”

The mom of two said that motherhood has changed her life and helped her grow.

“Motherhood has taught me more than anything to be patient,” she shared. “It’s a love like no other.”

Above all, Hilton hopes to instill in her daughters the power of kindness.

“If you are a good person and you are kind, good things will follow,” she said.

Learn the ropes

As the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels in 1919, Hilton is no stranger to business.

In 2004, Hilton put her entrepreneurial background to work, releasing her own clothing line and, a few years later, launching her brand, Nicholai.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion,” she said. “Whether that [was] working in a clothing store or a fashion magazine, I loved the escapism of it.”

For Hilton, it was important to have a base understanding of the fashion industry.

“I interned at a fashion magazine and it wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be,” she recalled. “I was taking lunch orders and taking trash out, but I really learned the behind the scenes of how a fashion magazine runs.”

“I always recommend learning the ropes,” she said. “I found those lessons very valuable.”

Sustainability is always in fashion

After conquering clothing, accessories and jewelry, Hilton’s latest fashion endeavor is footwear. The entrepreneur has partnered with French Sole, releasing a collection of sustainable shoes.

“It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Hilton said. “It’s no secret that the fashion industry is not so great for the environment.”

Hilton hopes her new footwear line shows that sustainability is always in style.

“This is the Amanda sneaker I’m holding,” she said. “It’s made out of all-certified organic recycled materials and the sole is plant-based.”

Hilton urges others to be conscious of the environment and help out however they can, whether it’s taking shorter showers or turning off lights when leaving a room.

“I consider myself an eco-conscious person,” she said. “I’m not perfect but I think we all need to do our part to leave our world a better place for our children.”