I can’t believe the gift giving season is so close! I don’t know about you, but between my book tour and all my extra baggage, I’m not ready at all! So I thought it might be a good idea to ask Steven Alan for his advice. He’s got impeccable taste and he basically specializes in beautiful things.
I don’t know if you know Steven, but here in New York and in LA, all the girls (and guys) are fans. His eponymous boutiques are where I find all my favorite brands, from Isabel to Acne and Mansur Gavriel, and even his own brand – the fashion and accessories are super easy to wear, which I love; not to mention his home boutique – it’s kind of hippie chic, which I go crazy for.
Anyway, we wanted to launch a new series where we’ll get advice from experts – and to kick it off, we thought it would be great to learn a thing or two about the art of gift giving! So here’s Steven’s advice…
Always try to imagine how you would feel if you received that gift. If you secretly want it, then it’s probably a good gift!
There is a design dictum that objects should be both useful and beautiful, that is something to always keep in mind. Ideally, gifts have a great story behind them.
Try to give something personal to those you don’t know so well. I love to gift my brother’s cookbooks or something signature from the store.
With family and friends, take note of things like specific food interest and clothing preferences, so you know what they like!
For those who have everything? Something personal, or anything cashmere.
If they have kids or pets, it’s thoughtful to include something for them as well.
Instagram is a great resource to get inspiration for what would be the perfect type of gift.
Incorporate a small additional item like chocolate, tea or coffee – it’s a nice touch!
Just like food and wine tasting better in a beautiful setting, gifts feel more special when they are beautifully wrapped. When wrapping a gift, make it more personal by using random papers such as wallpaper or interesting magazines. Or try incorporating flowers, securing a little greenery on the outside of a beautiful package.
The note is most important. Write from the heart.
Photo 1: Maison Louis Marie No. 4 Eau de Toilette, 1509 Matthias Fragrance, Cinnamon Projects Series 01 Incense Box / Photo 2: Watch, Junghans / Photo 3: “New York Cult Recipes” by Marc Grossman / Photo 4: Earrings, Maya Brenner / Photo 5: Beanies, Steven Alan / Photo 6: Plant, Sprout Home / Photo 7: Painting, Chris Johanson.
Words: Garance Doré & Steven Alan | Photos: Erik Melvin