Opening on February 24, the space explores the evolution of shopping from the turn of the millennium to now, showcasing a curated selection of Hilton’s personal items from the period alongside the launch of a limited-edition velour tracksuit, exclusively available on Klarna
New York, NY (February 16, 2023) – Klarna, the leading global bank, payments and shopping service, and Paris Hilton, the queen of Y2K, announced today the opening of ‘House of Y2K,’ an interactive pop-up in Los Angeles, CA that explores the evolution of shopping and trends from the 2000s through today. Designed to highlight three themes - technology, fashion and beauty - the pop-up will transport guests back in time to the dial-up era where shopping was anything but smoooth, before guiding them into a modern, serene Klarna world, filled with elevated shopping touchpoints, makeover moments, and iconic items from Paris Hilton’s private archives. Opening on Friday, February 24 on the famous LA shopping strip, Melrose Avenue, the pop-up coincides with the launch of a Paris Hilton x Klarna limited-edition velour tracksuit, available exclusively through the Klarna app.
The House of Y2K will take guests through a journey of time to show how shopping has evolved, thanks in part to Klarna’s superior products, such as flexible payments, shoppable video, and Klarna’s unbiased in-app search feature that compares product prices across thousands of retailers to find the best price and time to buy. While the Y2K trend continues to build momentum across industries, those who were around during the 2000s will recall that not everything was as smoooth then as it is today, particularly as it relates to shopping. According to Klarna’s Y2K Global Trend Report, basic websites (12%) accessed via dial-up internet (16%), limited payment options (7%), complicated return policies (8%), and only a select number of stores from which to shop (1 in 10) are several 2000s nuisances that consumers highlighted as things they don’t miss about the period. Klarna now makes it easy with their search and compare feature which allows customers to filter their search by what is important to them, including size, color, store availability and more.
Additionally, the trend report found that almost half of respondents (45%) said that fashion was much better back in the Y2K era than it is now, with over half (52%) saying they believe the matching sweats trend should return to the mainstream in 2023. The survey also revealed an overall increase in purchases of Y2K products across fashion (low-rise jeans, baby tees, and tie-dye) and beauty (lip liner, butterfly clips, and hair crimping).
“The 2000s were such a special moment in pop culture and I love that so many of the iconic fashion trends are back in the mainstream,” said Paris Hilton, CEO, 11:11 Media. “I’m excited for fans to visit the ‘House of Y2K’ to celebrate these trends and experience how far shopping has come over the last two decades thanks to new technologies and products like Klarna. Not to mention I also get to bring out my fave personal items - some of which haven’t been seen in many years!”
As guests enter the House of Y2K, they will immediately find themselves in an environment reminiscent of the period with modern Klarna and Paris Hilton twists. The vibrant design aesthetic comes to life over three floors of glamorous activations and immersive fashion, beauty, and technology installations. Hilton’s most memorable items from the last 20 years will be on display including her sparkly dress from her 21st birthday, the iconic denim outfit as seen on “The Simple Life” (Murray, 2003-2007) and the Louis Vuitton gold monogram Miroir Alma GM Bowler Bag that was she regularly seen carrying in the early 2000s. Alongside these iconic pieces, there will be three modern ensembles that will be available to shop [Summer of Sliving, Loves It, Back 2 Skool] in real-time by scanning QR codes that take guests directly to the Klarna app where they can choose to pay immediately, pay later, or pay in four. Those unable to visit the pop-up will be able to shop the Y2K collections globally via the Klarna app.
The pop-up is divided into several distinct areas:
- Tech Tunnel of Terror: To set the scene, visitors will access the space via a dark tunnel that evokes the terror of the early days of online shopping. Abandoned shopping carts, error messages, old school PCs, and outdated tech will litter the tunnel. The centerpiece of the space will be a notoriously difficult-to-win Claw Grabber arcade game that demonstrates how hard it once was to ‘grab’ the best deal vs. today, where tools like Klarna’s in-app search feature make finding deals much easier.
- Fashion Installation: Once out of the tech tunnel of terror, guests will cross the threshold into a smoooth Klarna and Paris-inspired fashion room where Hilton’s extensive style archive will be on display. Alongside Paris’ outfits, like her Sliving pink sparkly ensemble, will be other accessories including Paris’ blinged out MP3 player, Razr flip phone, and more. Guests will have the opportunity to take home a piece of the experience in the form of Y2K-themed swag bags featuring Y2K sunglasses, tamagotchis, scrunchies and more.
- Beauty Installation: On the second floor of the pop-up, visitors will be invited to take their look back in time and choose from a selection of playful early 2000s-inspired styles, from glossy lips and colorful eyeshadow, to face jewels and glitter, with professional help from a celebrity makeup artist.
- Tech Bling Station: Guests who visit the bling station can have their personal items bedazzled in a sparkling design of their choice.
Klarna’s global multimedia campaign revolves around a series of films starring Paris Hilton, where she reacts to different Klarna product offerings with the catchphrase, ‘That’s Smoooth’, [Stretch Your Payments, Spread The Cost]. She does all this while rocking the limited edition Paris x Klarna tracksuit. In honor of Paris’ beloved dogs, including Diamond Baby who is featured in the campaign, 100% of proceeds from purchases of the tracksuits will be donated to Hilton’s nonprofit 11:11 Media Impact. The tracksuits are available exclusively through the Klarna app for $225 USD.
“Paris is the undisputed queen of Y2K, so when we decided we needed a partner to co-create a space dedicated to all things Y2K and shopping, Paris was our number one choice,” said David Sandström, Klarna Chief Marketing Officer. “Paris is a global trendsetter, and just as shopping has evolved since the 2000s, so too has Paris. Together, we invite guests to experience how far shopping has come over the last 20 years, thanks in part to Klarna, while enjoying several Y2K inspired activities.”
“The name Paris Hilton is synonymous with pop culture and Y2K fashion,” commented Krystal Hauserman, CMO, 11:11 Media. “At 11:11 Media, we are always looking for innovative experiences and partnerships that continue to push Paris’ brand forward, and the Klarna collaboration certainly does that. We can’t wait for fans to see it!”
The House of Y2K is located at 8070 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. It will be open and free to the public from 12:00-8:00pm on Friday, February 24. To learn more about the space and experiences offered, please visit https://www.klarna.com/us/houseofy2k.