What to buy for… the esthete
This holiday season, as ever, contemporary ceramics and luxe textiles feature heavily on their Wish List – however, it goes without saying that one of Anissa Kermiche’s Insta-famous vases gets the top spot. Inspired by the female form, the jewelry and homeware designer’s Instagram-friendly pieces are beloved by fashion insiders and interiors obsessives alike. Dotting one or more of her cult creations around your home guarantees instant kudos from both communities. Completedworks is another London-based jewelry label that has added homeware to its ever-expanding oeuvre. The brand joined forces with artist Ekaterina Bazhenova Yamasaki to create its signature crumpled vases, subverting traditional ceramic tropes. Of course, with this holiday season set to be a more subdued affair, with cozy nights in playing boardgames and watching movies on the horizon, a sumptuous blanket makes for a thoughtful gift that’s both pretty and practical.
What to buy for… the homebody
During a year when many of us have been confined to our homes for months on end – and with them serving the role of workspace, gym and sanctuary – there’s never been a more fitting time to perfect the art of nesting. Enter, the homebody. For the homebody, hygge is a way of life; her ultimate Friday night is one spent at home, curled up on the couch with a beautiful coffee-table book, or bingeing the latest must-watch series. And so it should come as no surprise that she’s transformed her home into a beautifully fragranced oasis of calm. When it comes to selecting her perfect gift, you can’t go wrong with The Row’s sumptuous leather slippers, a chic cashmere sweater by emerging label Arch4, or Maria Black’s delicate diamonds huggies – a fail-safe way to add some sparkle to her faultless off-duty look.
What to buy for… the beauty buff
This year has reaffirmed something we already knew to be true: an excellent face mask, such as Summer Fridays’ Jumbo Jet Lag Mask, or a comforting scented candle like L’Objet’s beautiful birdcage-inspired design, has the power to make us feel good. Such is the force of beauty. So, there is truly no better way to spoil the beauty obsessive in your life than to gift them something both beautiful and beautifying. Treat them to the absolute joy that is Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Advent Calendar, which features a mix of full-size and mini favorites and best-sellers, or give them the gift of a great night’s sleep courtesy of Slip’s Rose Gold Eye Mask. For the gadget-obsessed, there is the NuFace limited-edition Trinity, or Joanna Vargas’ Magic Glow Wand. And, to turn even the most low-key of evenings into an occasion, there is the glam duo of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Push Up Eye Secrets Set and Westman Atelier’s Makeup Brush Vault.
What to buy for… the self-care queen
Self-care Sunday may be a well-established Instagram hashtag, but for the truly devoted, this ritual shouldn’t be limited to just once a week. We all have that one friend who takes pampering very seriously, and after a year that has been marred by uncertainty, the self-care queen’s dedication to total relaxation should be applauded – and enabled. Help her create a luxurious home spa with a selection of Susanne Kaufmann’s cult products, Fur’s vegan bath drops and Jo Malone’s Wild Berry and Bramble scented candle. And no spa stay is complete without a cozy and covetable robe. A timeless floral style by Meng Zhang, who cut her teeth at Chanel before setting up her own luxury lifestyle label, will score you serious brownie points. However, the key to ensuring a truly blissful night’s sleep, not to mention maintaining healthy hair and skin, is a silk pillow and eye mask courtesy of Slip. Sweet dreams indeed.
What to buy for… the all-star
One positive upshot of 2020 is the renewed interest people across the globe have taken to fitness. Of course, for the all-star – you know, that friend who’s always the first one down a black run or test-driving the latest fitness craze and never fails to squeeze in a morning run – that simply means her regimen has stepped up a notch. This holiday season, appeal to her inner athlete by opting for performance-enhancing activewear that also happens to look fantastic. Case in point, APL Athletic Propulsion Labs’ ultra-light tech-loom sneakers. These cutting-edge trainers harness the energy created when your foot pounds the pavement, so you can get the most from every run. Styled with a pair of coordinating leggings and a crop top from Staud x New Balance’s collaboration, they also make for a chic off-duty look, ideal for going straight from barre class to brunch.
What to buy for… the adventurer
With long-haul travel off the agenda for the foreseeable, weekend breaks and staycations are soaring in popularity. These local excursions lend themselves to a certain degree of spontaneity, so it’s more important than ever to get your travel capsule down to a T. For the intrepid adventurer in your life, there’s no better gift than Paravel’s classic canvas and leather weekend bag. If their idea of the perfect getaway involves rambling through bucolic countryside, exploring new terrain and getting back to nature, a utilitarian jacket, courtesy of British outerwear experts Burberry, will make an enviable addition to their kit. Walking boots are another must-have; for the perfect combination of form and function, opt for Loewe’s lug-soled styles or Proenza Schouler’s chunky white combat boots. Alternatively, if the person you have in mind is more at home curled up in front of an open fire, a cable-knit sweater by cult brand Khaite, paired with Re/Done’s straight-leg jeans, makes for a modern take on the traditional country squire.
What to buy for… the social butterfly
Alas, party season is going to look very different this year, but while we may be forced to pass up the traditional office drinks and festive extravaganzas in favor of more intimate celebrations, the social butterfly sees no reason to dial down her style. Never knowingly underdressed, she believes whole-heartedly in the joy of dressing up. Isabel Marant’s Studio 54-inspired dresses and Saint Laurent’s double-breasted blazer jostle for the top spot on her Wish List, alongside Anito Ko’s diamond drop earrings and Cartier’s iconic timepieces. No matter how small the soirée, for the social butterfly, a lackluster outfit is simply unacceptable. Paco Rabanne’s dégradé clutch makes the perfect finishing touch to any evening ensemble, and no party closet is complete without a pair of exquisite dancing shoes. When the objective is dancing all night, it’s imperative to opt for an expert. Enter, Gianvito Rossi and his enchanting suede mules.
What to buy for… the accessory aficionado
Clothes can be a bold choice where gifts are concerned, so if you want to play it safe, but still knock it out of the park, we’d recommend sticking to accessories this holiday season – a strategy that the aficionado is wildly in favor of. As a serious collector, she’s known for her discerning taste and exacting standards, but while she may have a ‘type’, shopping for her is not as easy as you might think. We’d recommend looking for timeless designs by the industry’s most enduring labels. In recent seasons, Loewe’s ‘Puzzle’ bag has become a modern classic, while Gucci’s remastered bucket bag promises to add vintage flair to any outfit. Similarly, the aficionado swings between established and emerging footwear brands. A pair of slingbacks by legendary designer Manolo Blahnik would take pride of place in her accessory arsenal, while Veja’s vegan sneakers are sure to become part of her everyday uniform. If you really want to impress her, though, look no further than Bottega Veneta’s ‘Pouch’ – the gift every fashion insider is hoping to find under their tree this year.
What to buy for… the jewelry collector
Fine jewelry has long been considered the gold standard when it comes to gifts; in fact, as far as the collector is concerned, other ideas should be dismissed entirely. Craftsmanship, carats and rarity? Check, check and check. These are just a few examples of the rigorous criteria the she refers to before making her latest investment. Prove just how well you know her by gifting her a piece of jewelry that will stand the test of time – quite literally, in the case of a classic watch from Cartier or Hermès Timepieces – or showcase your gem expertize by adding contemporary pieces by in-demand designers such as Viltier, Suzanne Kalan and Spinelli Kilcollin to her ever-growing collection. If the events of this year have taught us any sartorial lessons, it’s that there’s no point in saving our most precious pieces for so-called ‘special’ occasions. We should be wearing clothes and jewelry that bring us joy every day, and these future heirlooms make the perfect accompaniment to everything from evening gowns to cashmere sweats.
What to buy for… the conscious consumer
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the desire to live a more sustainable life leaves little room for indulgence – it does, however, demand a little more in the way of legwork. Look for special pieces by labels known for their sustainable practices. Melissa Joy Manning’s handmade recycled gold and pearl earrings or Sophie Buhai’s chunky chain necklace – made by local artisans in Los Angeles – both make a faultless addition to any outfit. Don’t forget this approach extends to beauty, too, where cult brands such as Circumference and Dr. Barbara Sturm are developing eco-conscious, high-performance products that promise to leave you looking refreshed and rejuvenated. Fashion’s biggest power players are also overhauling their practices – Gucci’s investment bags and accessories are now crafted in Italy from chrome-free leather, while Chloé has partnered with Unicef to launch Girls Forward – a project that aims to support 6.5 million women through gender-equality programs. As gifts go, these covetable choices can truly make an impact.
What to buy for… him
Whether you’re scouting out the perfect gift for your partner, relative or best friend, it’s safe to say that his closet is the perfect place to start. After a year in which many of us learned the value of classic pieces that promise to last for seasons to come, luxe staples such as Studio Nicholson’s cozy turtleneck, Officine Générale’s tapered pants and Grenson’s chocolate brogues suddenly feel like a fresh proposition. Of course, accessories eradicate any guesswork when it comes to sizing; a butter-soft leather card wallet, checked scarf or woollen beanie hat (Brunello Cucinelli’s orange design is particularly decadent) make a welcome addition to any man’s wardrobe. Another area that could probably use an overhaul? His bathroom shelf. A heady scent by cult perfumier D.S. & Durga or high-performance products from 111Skin will leave any man feeling refreshed, in every sense of the word. However, there’s nothing quite like an investment piece to truly surpass expectations; whether it takes the form of Loewe’s sumptuous balloon backpack, John Lobb’s suede boots, a checked coat courtesy of JW Anderson, or a true heirloom like a classic Cartier watch.
Discover more gifts at MR PORTER