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FEATURE

November 23, 2016

By Jody Hume

THE BEST GIFTS OUR EDITORS HAVE EVER GIVEN & RECEIVED

Wish lists can be hard. And that goes for giving and receiving. We all know someone who’s impossible to shop for (how can you “literally not think of anything” you want?), and committing to the pieces you want to be sporting in the new year can also be a tough call (statement earrings? Or statement Gucci?). For those who are at a gifting loss, we turned to our editors. They were full of inspiration that goes far beyond fashion — though of course there’s some of that too. From personal travel destinations to custom surfboards, they revealed their gifting triumphs along with the pieces they’re hoping to unwrap this year. Read on and take notes.

Toni Lessler Mills, Fashion Editor & Writer

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
My husband’s best friend had moved away to Basel, Switzerland so I decided to surprise him with a winter getaway to go and visit. I must have done well with this gift as it brought my mother-in-law to tears. Another personal favorite gift was for my mom’s 60th birthday. We spent a day out together shopping and I took her to get her second piercing for her ears which she was always talking about doing “one day.”  
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My husband surprised me for Christmas with a trip to The Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was such an unexpected destination and I was completely taken aback by the rugged beauty of the country. We drove through Glencoe which is part of the Scottish Highlands and stayed at an old converted hunting lodge called Duisdale House Hotel. Personally, I would take a destination or experience gift over a physical item any day.

realstyle_582_toni-1M2Malletier Amor Fati Bag, $795; J.W. Anderson Sphere Drop Earrings, $195

What’s on your wishlist this year?
I’ve been lusting over these J.W. Anderson gold drop earrings.  After so many years of minimal dainty jewelry, I am fully embracing the oversized jewelry trend. I also have my eye on a structural mini bag by M2Malletier. They are the perfect minimal style weekend bag as they can be worn as a crossbody or a modern clutch.

headshot-2Mandy Rivas, Men’s Merchandise Manager

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
It would have to be a personalized photo book I gave to my family from our summer trip in Italy. I think the best gifts are personalized gifts that can be used or referenced over and over.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
It’s a tie —  a black leather jacket from my mother and a Gucci handbag from my husband. Both items were on my wish list and a great return on investment since they’re so versatile.

realstyle_582_mandy-1Gucci GG Marmont Bag, $2,350; Saint Laurent Court Classic Sneakers, $325

What’s on your wish list this year?
The Gucci GG Marmont leather tote because it’s a timeless, stylish work bag, fits my laptop and symbolizes my tree kids. We call my son ‘tiger boy’ and both my daughters’ names begin with ‘G.’ Also, men’s sneakers but in my size. I love these court classics — super versatile and an updated version of a low top sneaker like the Stan Smiths but for winter.

resized-lindsey_headshotLindsey Taft, Associate Merchandising Manager, Fine Jewelry & Watches

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
I recently made a miniature schnauzer-themed cross stitch for my friend for her birthday, which was pretty hilarious. Otherwise, I really love finding rare and unique books for people on things they’re passionate about or topics they’ve mentioned wanting to learn more about, whether it’s art, fashion, cooking, etc. It’s my favorite gifting go-to, especially when shopping for multiple people at once.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My boyfriend recently surprised me by framing my favorite album cover and vinyl, which looks really awesome hanging in my bedroom. Another one of my favorites is a diamond ring that my grandmother gave me, who is by far the chicest woman I know. A lot of my favorite jewelry pieces I own are gifts from her.

realstyle_582_lindsey-2Eva Fehren Thorn Earrings, $1,295; Cartier Diamond Entrelaces Ring, $2,095

What’s on your wish list this year?
At the top of my wish list is the Cartier Diamond Entrelaces ring, and Eva Fehren’s thorn earrings. Both of these pieces are delicate, understated and versatile — perfect for pairing with different statement pieces for a bold look. Whether it’s to the office or a holiday party, I’d wear these for almost any occasion.

2016-09-15-1Kim Brown, Senior Fine Art & Home Director

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
Last year we gave the kids “experiences” to be shared as a family. We went to a Golden State Warriors Game (well timed given they had such an amazing season) and a Disney Frozen on Ice performance (saved us from making the trek to Disneyland). The kids LOVED both, and we made some amazing memories together as a family. We are planning a repeat this year!
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A Mikimoto pearl pendant from my husband given to me on our first holiday together. Pretty sure I wore it every day for three years straight (only to be replaced by my engagement ring).

realstyle_582_kim-1Massimo Vitali Bagni Lido 2002, $2,500; Lalique Crystal Retriever Figurine, $195

What’s on your wish list this year?
In my stocking, I am obsessing over this Lalique figurine (it reminds me of our newest addition to the family). And from Santa, I want a Massimo Vitali print to keep me daydreaming of a beachside vacation.

headshot_sasha_bwSasha Skoda, Women’s Category Director

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
Everyone has their weakness; we all know people who can never have enough shoes, never have enough jewelry, never have enough handbags. For my boyfriend, his weakness is surfboards — he has more surfboards than I do shoes! Last holiday season I had a custom surfboard made for him, and it was really fun to watch him paddle out on it for the first time, and take it out whenever the waves are just right.  
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My boyfriend and I love to travel, and living in the Bay Area there are so many beautiful areas to explore nearby. He surprised me last Christmas with a trip to Big Sur. We stayed in a magical little cottage tucked away from all the tourist traps — we didn’t even have wifi or cell reception! Such a great way to unwind and recharge.

realstyle_582_sasha-2Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Earrings, $725; The Row Leather Mules, $395

What’s on your wish list this year?
One of my favorite purchases from The RealReal was my Cartier Trinity Ring — it’s such a timeless piece that I wear every day, and it really has become a part of me. I love the really special forever jewelry we have on the site, and I’d love to add another piece to my collection! This holiday I am swooning over these Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Double Oval Earrings. I love the quality and craftsmanship of Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and these feel like another piece that I could wear every day. The mules are the perfect fall/winter shoe living in SF with mild winters. They would look great paired with jeans for a relaxed weekend look or dressed up for work with a sleek dress.