MANILA, AUGUST 20, 2011 (STAR) By Bea J. Ledesma (Photo is loading... Paris Hilton (inset) models a purse from her line of handbags and accessories at the launch of her boutique at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Right photo shows the crowd at the atrium of the mall during the launch. TAMMY DAVID)

 Paris Hilton can still draw a crowd.

According to mall authorities, an estimated five thousand people flocked to SM Megamall yesterday to catch a glimpse of the hotel heiress. “Just got to my store appearance at The SM Megamall and there are over thousands and thousands of fans here,” she tweeted yesterday afternoon.

After three days of shoots and business meetings, the reality TV fixture spent her last day in Manila attending the launch of her Paris Hilton Handbags and Accessories boutique, the fourth in the country.

Fans began lining up at 1 p.m. to meet the blond star, who was scheduled to do a meet and greet with fans who purchased her merchandise at 4 pm. About a hundred purses, retailing at P5,000 and up, were sold at the Megamall store alone on the day of Hilton’s store appearance.

Fan appeal

At the press conference at The Manila Peninsula Wednesday, Hilton met with Isha Dinio, a 20-year-old who’s been a fan of Hilton since 2001. Hilton presented Dinio with a purse from her handbag line. “She messaged me directly four times asking for my address so she could send me a gift,” Dinio informed The Star. “She even tweets me on special occasions, like my birthday.”

Members of her fan club thronged the actress at the Peninsula Conservatory.

“Sign my forehead please!” one fan pleaded. Hilton settled for her arm.

The forehead autograph request is not a rare occurrence. “(I get that) all the time,” she says in an interview at the store launch. “Every time they ask me to sign a forehead, I feel weird doing it. I’ve done it once actually in Hawaii. It was this little boy who begged and begged. But that’s the only time I’ve done it.”

When Hilton entered the boutique, photographers crowded by the boutique’s glass facade. “That’s crazy,” Hilton said, when she saw the group forcefully shoving themselves against the store’s entrance.

“I do store appearances all over the world and it’s always very crazy and a lot of pandemonium,” she said. “I’m pretty used to it. I’ve been doing this for a very long time.”

According to Hilton, an appearance in Mexico City was the most frightening. “There was something like 20,000 people and it caused a huge riot almost. And it became very scary. Like a hundred policemen had to come get me.”

IT bag

Hilton’s line of handbags consist of purses monogramed with the celeb’s initials. When asked about her favorites, she pointed to textured woven bags affixed with a silver plaque embossed with the image of her chihuahua Tinkerbell. “It’s, like, very cute,” she said. “It’s called the Timeless bag.”

Another favorite is a structured purse with a monogram of the letter P in cursive topped with a crown in shades of brown, which closely resembles a popular designer label’s signature bag. “I love the Louis Vuitton kind of inspired bags because they’re cute and I love that kind of feel,” she said of the design.

Hilton works directly with the label to produce the merchandise. “I work with my design team, approve everything and send them my inspirations every month,” she told The Star. “We have design meetings every few months and go over everything.”

“Jinkee’s style is hot”

The hotel heiress returned to the US with presents from Saranggani Congressman Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee. “Manny and Jinkee gave me so many presents. All of their T-shirts and, like, Manny figurines and some other cute Filipino candies and chocolates.” With a prod from her publicist, she added, “I also got some really beautiful necklaces. A lot of different Filipino designs which are really gorgeous.”

Hilton met with the couple Tuesday evening at a dinner the Pacquiaos held in her honor. Jinkee was attired in a cleavage-baring form-fitting Herve Leger dress. According to the TV star, Jinkee’s style is “hot.”

“Jinkee’s sexy and she’s such a sweet person,” Hilton said to YStyle columnist Jackie Cohen-Antonio Wednesday evening at The Peninsula Rigodon ballroom at a party hosted by real estate company Century Properties.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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