Paris Hilton tells the Daily Telegraph's Celia Walden about fame before social media, and having children with a man she only started dating nine months ago.
"Can you imagine how crazy things would have been if social media had existed back then?" muses Paris Hilton. By "back then", she means the early Noughties, when the heiress's bronzed hipbones were a cultural leitmotif.
Arguably the godmother of reality television, Hilton soared to fame off the back of her family name, a cult TV show, her in-your-face sexuality and her own formidable powers of self-promotion.
If it sounds familiar, that's because it has become so in her wake.
Back then, her wardrobe organiser was a young nobody named Kim Kardashian. Kim, who has since turned personal branding into an art-form, clearly learnt from the best.
For before Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the reality TV show that debuted in 2007 and became a cultural phenomenon, there was The Simple Life, the reality show starring Hilton and her friend Nicole Richie that ran from 2003 to 2007.
There was also an infamous sex tape that leaked online around the time The Simple Life began (which Paris has lamented she will forever be judged by).
By a strange coincidence, a sex tape of Kim Kardashian was made public in 2007, not long before her reality show started.
The difference in their routes to fame, as Hilton, 36, points out, is that "I did it all on my own" - without the aid of Instagram, Twitter or any other of the social media that has since become so key when turning yourself into a brand.
The great-granddaughter of hotelier Conrad Hilton is speaking to me on the phone from Ibiza, where she is doing a summer residency as a DJ at Amnesia nightclub for the fifth year running.
"I [also] had no manager, publicist or stylist," she says. "Now all kids need to sell themselves is a phone. But I do like that it gives people coming from obscurity a chance to make a name for themselves.
"And although I've seen a lot of people come and go, there are some I know will always stick around."
I'm guessing Hilton counts herself as one of those. And she should.
Kardashian may have gone on to dwarf her mentor in Instagram and Twitter followers (54.6 million to Hilton's 15.7 million), but while we were all laughing at the socialite's caricature of rich-kid laziness and excess, Hilton was busy building an insanely profitable brand, encompassing property (there are now three Paris Hilton apartment complexes and 44 Paris Hilton stores worldwide), fragrances (she has just released her 23rd perfume, Rosé Rush, and makes more than US$10 million a year in product sales), and event-hosting (Hilton is one of the highest-paid celebrity DJs in the world).
She's also about to release a single, Summer Reign, and has a new TV project in the works.
"I'm not allowed to say that much about it yet, but it's a very innovative idea - and not a reality TV show," she insists. "I haven't watched any reality shows since Here Comes Honey Boo Boo [an American series that ran from 2012 to 2014], because it's all so scripted and fake now, which isn't interesting to me."
It's easy to see this as a dig at the Kardashians, but Hilton seems genuinely pleased about her old friend's success. She also shrugs off any part she played in the making of one of the most famous women in the world.
"Kim never asked me for advice: our friendship wasn't like that. We were always together experiencing life, and anyway that whole family are geniuses when it comes to building a brand. They never needed any advice; they know exactly what they're doing."
Having struggled with "the haters" early on in her career - "at this point, I can't think of anything you could say that would really hurt me any more" - Hilton is in awe of how childhood friend Ivanka Trump is dealing with the hostility she gets as the daughter of US President Donald Trump.
"She must be going through such a lot right now. I can't even imagine the pressure. But she's doing so well and she's such a savvy businesswoman and a great mother."
Hilton recently offered a public apology for suggesting last year that the women who have made sexual harassment allegations against President Trump were just courting "attention and fame".
She admires Kardashian's defiance, too. "I love how she deals with all those trolls. Kim's a brilliant woman. She's super-confident and she doesn't worry about what anyone says about her, which I think is empowering to other women."
Both work on the basis that being underestimated is actually quite helpful.
"I honestly love it when people underestimate me," Hilton says, "because then you get to prove them wrong. And you can learn a lot from somebody when they think you don't know what's going on. So I love playing that ditzy character, because while people are thinking I have no clue, I'm actually figuring out everything about them."
Where Hilton will confess to a certain pride is when it comes to the new generation of models and It Girls who see her as an icon.
When she turned 21, supermodel Kendall Jenner paid homage to Hilton by recreating her famous coming-of-age metal mesh mini dress.
"And I loved that!" she cries. "I've known the Jenners and the Hadids [Bella and Gigi] for such a long time."
When I tell Hilton how funny it is to see her in this matriarchal role - for so long, she seemed to epitomise carefree youth, and she still looks about 20 - she grows serious.
"I can't wait to start a family. I'm so excited about it. I've had so much fun in my life but now that I've built this incredible business and I'm really in love, I'm ready for the next step."
The man with whom she wants to take it is her boyfriend, Chris Zylka, the 32-year-old actor who stars in US TV drama series The Leftovers.
"We've only been together nine months but it feels like 10 lifetimes. He's really changed my life," she says.
Hilton's younger sister, Nicky, married British businessman James Rothschild in 2015, and spending time with her one-year-old niece, Lily-Grace, has made the elder Hilton sister consider the kind of mother she wants to be.
"I'm going to be a very hands-on, very strict mum. My parents [socialite Kathy Hilton and businessman Richard Hilton] were never very strict, but when I see the way young girls go out [and party] nowadays, it makes me really scared. I don't want my kids doing that."
She's equally wary of social media.
"I don't want my children being obsessed with the amount of likes they're getting on Instagram as teenagers, or reading too much into comments, because when they're still kids they can't really understand there are people out there who are mean to others because they are unhappy with themselves.
"Especially if I had a girl, I wouldn't want my daughter to be so enthralled with all that: it's so much pressure. And young girls don't understand there's such a lot of Photoshopping and that the women they're looking up to don't even look like that - so it only makes them feel sad and insecure."
Hilton blames this - and irresponsible dermatologists - for the dramatic rise in teenage cosmetic surgery.
"When you're having things done at 15, your face is not even fully formed yet," she says.
Has she not had any work done then?
"I am 100 per cent natural," she flings back. "I've never done filler; I've never had Botox - I've never done anything at all. When I asked a dermatologist whether I should be doing stuff, he said: 'No, your skin is like a 20-year-old's.'
"But I'm lucky I went to someone honest, because so many people just want to make money."
This article originally appeared on the Daily Telegraph and is reproduced with permission.