The Perez Hilton brand is becoming an empire! Well, sort of. The off-putting celebrity blogger has been stamping his name on shitty clothing, he might be getting his own record label, and now he's had a damn musical written about him. Is he really becoming an unstoppable juggernaut corporation, or is it just hooey? We'll take a closer look at the corpulent stain-artist's side projects after the jump.
Perez Hilton for Hot Topic
The various items in Hilton's much-ballyhooed clothing line (for chintzy, Clearasil-smeared clothing chain Hot Topic) were criticized for many by being ugly and ridiculous. Which is not true. They are heinously ugly and ridiculous. But the people who read his blog and care about his personality enough to actually think about buying the clothes are stupid so the line could very easily sell well. Plus, Perez has been doing a tour of Hot Topic stores, where the clothing is sold exclusively, doing autograph signings and posing for photos in front of the crappy clothes hut. Though, apparently the appearances aren't going well so far. No one showed up! Because nobody cares. It's another story of internet fame being not quite the same thing as actual real-life fame. Plus, a commenter on Perez's blog says he was horrible:
Hello- I work at the HOT TOPIC where this piece of shit appearted on friday ( I was not working that day but showed up for shit n giggles ) ONLY 7 people showed up.SEVEN.That's it.Mario was BEYOND upset texting and DEMENDING the right water,food,ETC he was a rude royal pain in the ass and BEYOND crass.Talking about scat porn,fisting some kid and otherbest left unsaid topics.My manager was trying to get people to come in to meet Perez by handing out $5 gift cards NO ONE WANTED TO MEET HIM! His mother and sister were there and he seemed to take it out on them (they are both fat BTW and smelled nasty!) anyways he left around 8:45PM without saying goodbye to anyone & looked like he had been crying like the little bitch he is. We sold a grand total of $6.45 of Perez Hilton items between 6PM - 9PM. My manager has already talked about discounting his "line" !
The credibility of this anonymous commenter is not terribly high, obviously, but if it is true it's funny and a little sad and mostly gross (scat!) But Perez's PR person has a different story! He sent us an email yesterday:
I know you guys will write what you want, with out any research but I wanted to let you know that this article is no true at all.
I'm helping launch (along with Hot Topic) Perez's new line. We were all very pleased with the turn out, over 100 people showed up to meet and purchase Perez's new line at the Hollywood and Highland Hot Topic Store. The pictures shown on your site are not accurate. Perez was excited to meet his fans and sign autographs. Everyone from the manager of Hot Topic to a "first day of work" employee stayed to meet Perez after fans left. Perez (Mario) stayed late to hang out with them all and personally thank them for their support, taking pictures, signing personal autographs and getting to know them better.
Perez at Hot Topic clothing line is selling very well at all Hot Topic stores.
Who to believe?? Well, it's probably somewhere in between the two, but either way it doesn't seem like a terribly auspicious beginning to the endeavor. If the line really was selling well and a good time was being had by all at the meet-and-greets, we doubt this flack would bother trying to correct us. We asked the PR drone to provide some, you know, proof that the event was such a success, but they only meekly pointed to this Perez post, which doesn't exactly show a big crowd. It mostly just shows that people who like Perez Hilton are crazy people.
Perez the Record Executive
Remember when we said, one sentence ago, that people who like Perez Hilton are mostly crazy people? That rings true for those fans who turn to Perez for music advice. But there are, sadly, so many of them that, like a pasty young Oprah, he has turned into a man who can actually break new bands. So Warner Bros. is paying him $100,000 a year to do so. At least he's keeping his ethical code strict:
If Mr. Lavandeira sets up formal ties to a record label, can he still be an objective taste-maker? He seems to think so. In an interview last month, he said he would still have the freedom to rave about artists on rival labels and had no obligation to praise acts on Warner Brothers' roster...
"There's no need to trash them," he added. "Unless they do something stupid."
This is pocket change for Warner Bros., but quite a coup for the legitimacy of Perez. Also a sad statement on sheep-like musical tastes of the masses, but whatever. That's the internet for you.
Perez the Musical
An obnoxious blogger play? An inherently bad idea, but probably the most stunning sign of all of the pudgy man's brand power. Why? Because he didn't actually produce it himself. Three otherwise sane young men who paid good money to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts are rolling out the play Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (or at least the greater Los Angeles Area) in New York, off-Broadway. Pretty smart move from a business perspective though, because their appeal to his vanity got posted on his site, which is like a quadrillion dollars worth of free PR for what can only be—at best—a sedating way to spend two hours.
Hot Topic, Warner Bros., some random dudes in New York. Do you see the common theme here? All of these Perez-branded products might end up sucking, but that's not really the point. The point is that he's his own publicity machine, which makes him bankable. Until interest inevitably wanes, and Perez is left alone, in a Hot Topic shirt, listening to club music alone.