Modern Marketing Ad Spend Brand Strategy

Paris Hilton and Klarna host hot-pink ‘House of Y2K’ pop-up in LA


By Audrey Kemp | Junior Reporter

February 27, 2023 | 6 min read

Paris Hilton, chief executive of 11:11 Media, displayed some of her most iconic Y2K fashion moments to highlight how far shopping has come in two decades.

paris hilton poses for photos at the 'house of y2k' event

Paris Hilton, CEO of 11:11 Media, poses near a tracksuit at the 'House of Y2K' pop-up party / Credit: Audrey Kemp

Imagine a campaign that both champions the ease of modern shopping and the flashy fashion of the early 2000s. Paris Hilton would probably say, “That’s hot.”

Such was the idea behind a pop-up party jointly hosted by the socialite-turned-business maven, her company 11:11 Media and Swedish fintech firm Klarna, called ‘House of Y2K.’

The activation, which ran from February 23 to 24 at 8070 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, explored the evolution of shopping and trends from the 2000s through today.

outside the y2k popup

The pop-up was co-developed by Klarna’s in-house team and brand experience agency Amplify. It was directed by Ukrainian Grammy nominee Tanu Muino, known for her work with Harry Styles, Cardi B, Lizzo and Lil Nas X.

It also kicked off the brands’ joint global campaign, which went live today across social, digital, broadcast and out-of-home media. The campaign comprises two 30-second films starring Hilton, where she reacts to different Klarna product offerings with the catchphrase, ‘That’s Smoooth.’

The majority of guests at the House of Y2K donned trends of the early aughts, including velour tracksuits, micro handbags, sarcastic tee-shirts and spray-tanned bare midriffs, validating the hypothesis that fashion trends come back every 20 years. Among them were several celebs, including reality TV royalty Kris Jenner and Kathy Hilton, as well as social media sensations Tana Mongeau, Gigi Gorgeous and James Charles.

The pop-up offered its elite guests a photo booth, cocktail bar and a station to have their personal items rhinestoned. On the first floor were over 50 relics from Hilton’s party-packed past, like the denim skirt suit she famously wore on The Simple Life, a “Sliving” jumpsuit adorned with 250,000 Swarovski crystals and a tee shirt that says “I [love] shoes, bags and boys.”

Co-founded in 2021 by Hilton and media industry heavyweight Bruce Gersh, 11:11 Media says it connects content, community and commerce for several sectors, including digital, web3, film, television, music and consumer products.

“Doing big things is kind of our thing at 11:11 Media,” says Krystal Hauserman, chief marketing officer at 11:11 Media. “Our first order of business is probably shifting mindsets – not thinking about amazing collaborations as ‘advertising.’ Our secret sauce is helping brands create authentic, fun, joyful pop culture moments that build community, affinity and drive commerce.”

Placed amid Hilton’s bedazzled regalia were Klarna’s on-site signs informing guests about how it streamlines the modern shopping experience. One, for instance, read: “Grab the best deals every time with Klarna’s new price comparison feature.”

The company, founded in 2004, trailblazed a number of tools designed to optimize the mobile shopping experience, including ‘buy now, pay later’ mechanisms and automated checkout.

“Klarna is a trailblazer in the payments space, and it was a natural fit to pair Paris’ love of shopping with a brand that’s making it easy and convenient for consumers to shop from any platform,” Hauserman says.

With Hilton at 11:11 Media’s helm, consumers and brands alike can expect several activations like House of Y2K in the future, from new product launches to metaverse experiences and beyond.

“We’re constantly looking for new, innovative ways to harness the power of Paris’ highly engaged audience ... We are fearless in our approach to try new things, constantly innovate and challenge the status quo – all qualities that Paris is known for.”

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