WORDS BY NERYS D'ESCLERCS
Between friends and family’s expectations and colleagues’ Secret Santas, it can seem like the present list is never ending. So we’ve done the hard work for you: for the very best in men’s and women’s gifts — from stylish outerwear and exquisite fine watches to fail-safe accessories and designer homeware — we’ve scoured some of the world’s finest boutiques from our global network.
Where to buy outerwear gifts: Eraldo, Italy
Located in a small town close to Venice, Eraldo is easily accessed from every part of north-east Italy and neighboring countries Austria, Slovenia and Croatia — crucially, places where temperatures get low and layering is key — making this boutique the perfect destination to find great outerwear gifts.
‘Our curation is international, not only picking top brands but also several niche collections with exclusive collaborations,’ says owner and buyer Alberto Ferrante. He calls out ‘the timeless Maya and Ecrins field jackets from Moncler’ for classic outerwear designs, new shearling pieces from Stone Island and Salvatore Santoro to please your more trend-focused friends, and pieces from Ten C: ‘They have a shell outer and an interior that can be personalized, and they’re designed to last in time with fine fabrics such as a microfiber from Japan that perfectly shapes our bodies.’ For a more modern look, ‘the Raf Simons letterman coat has an interesting composition of leather, wool, cotton and cupro that creates a truly unique piece.’ To please the pickiest shoppers, Ferrante highlights Herno, Jil Sander, Alanui and Junya Watanabe MAN, which are all available to buy on FARFETCH.
Where to buy watch gifts: CHRONEXT, Germany
Stocking more than 7,000 watches, CHRONEXT's expert team can match any customer with the perfect timepiece. ‘All of the watches we receive are fully authenticated and refurbished by our watch atelier,’ says Philipp Man, CHRONEXT’s CEO and co-founder. ‘Our selection ranges from brand new to certified pre-owned and vintage. This means that you’re able to find waiting-list pieces and out-of-production watches you wouldn’t be able to find at a regular watch dealer.’
For those looking for an investment gift this holiday season, Man has a few suggestions. ‘The 5990/1A Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph from Patek Philippe is sure to be the ultimate cornerstone of any serious watch collection. Combining elegance and sportiness, this timepiece is equally at home on the wrist with a crisp white shirt at dinner, or with a T-shirt by the pool. The dual time zone mechanism indicating local and home time makes it very practical for any jetsetter who is in constant need of tracking two time zones at once.’
Another key style comes courtesy of Audemars Piguet. ‘The brand released the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993 as a sportier alternative to the classic Royal Oak,’ explains Man. ‘The Offshore quickly became popular with sports stars and celebrities – with limited editions made in collaboration with athletes such as Michael Schumacher, LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This incredible Royal Oak Offshore “Pride of Germany” is one of the most coveted limited editions from the Offshore collection, which quickly sold out after its release.’
Finally, a standout style from Rolex: ‘Arguably the most recognizable watch in the world, the Rolex Submariner is a style that every aficionado will own at some point. This 18k yellow gold Submariner is the quintessential timepiece for the man who wants a robust and adventurous watch, while still maintaining style and a bit of flash. Accordingly, this is the watch you can wear on any occasion, whether in the pool or even diving down to 300 meters.’ All of these extra-special gifts are all available on FARFETCH.
Where to buy sneaker gifts: Level Shoes, Dubai
Set in Dubai’s biggest shopping mall and stocking hundreds of global names, Level Shoes is a go-to destination for footwear fans. ‘From Alexander McQueen’s cult oversized sneaker to Fendi’s logo-mania assortment and Maison Margiela’s eccentrically classic styles, we have a wide range of brands and styles, as well as our bespoke customization service, The Personalisation Hub, which offers clients the ability to personalize their sneakers by way of painting, laser engraving and more,’ says Stephanie Moor, Level Shoes senior men’s buyer.
If you’re shopping for a sneakerhead, Moor recommends Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning — ‘which is exclusive to Level Shoes in the UAE’ — and its must-have sneaker, the Furious Rider Ace. She also highlights Raf Simons’ inaugural Runner range, along with the innovative Antei sneakers and Cyclon sneaker boots. ‘The Comme des Garçons PLAY x Converse collab is also one of our best-sellers; with the high-top basketball shoe a big trend for 2021, it’s definitely a worthy buy,’ says Moor. Those looking for a more refined style will love Axel Arigato’s low-top sneakers, which she calls ‘a key investment for every man’s wardrobe’.
Where to buy accessory gifts: Eleonora Bonucci, Italy
Stocking leather-goods experts such as Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Maison Margiela, Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, Eleonora Bonucci is a great destination when looking for smaller gifts such as wallets, purses and shoes. ‘Accessories are very often gifted but still remain much more personal than an item of clothing,’ explains the boutique’s manager, Beatrice Comotti. ‘An accessory’s purpose is to bring a look together and to upgrade it.’ The key accessory gifts for this season? ‘The Pouch from Bottega Veneta can uplift a basic look to a smart and chic one, while oversized sneakers from Alexander McQueen can be worn with an evening dress to make it cooler.’ Comotti also recommends Saint Laurent fashion jewelry to elevate simple looks: ‘More and more people prefer casual and street outfits, which make accessories shine even brighter.’
Where to buy homeware gifts: LECLAIREUR, France
In the heart of Paris, close to the iconic Place de la Concorde next to the likes of Hermès, Lanvin and Cartier, LECLAIREUR Boissy d’Anglas stands out thanks to a unique curation of fashion, objets d’art and covetable furniture. Its window displays, smiling back at locals and tourists alike, include cult favorite Fornasetti plates and scented candles – some of the boutique’s most popular items to gift this season. If you’re looking for something extra special, look to one-off pieces like the exclusive Geoffrey Parker x LECLAIREUR backgammon board, which is foldable and can be taken anywhere. Holiday reunions will also need the perfect sets of cutlery and tableware: the boutique boasts a great assortment of glasses from Carlo Moretti, which they recommend to mix and match for a colorful festive table.
Where to buy jewelry gifts: Marissa Collections, United States
Established in 1975 by the Hartington family, Marissa Collections’ iridescent floral and pink velvet Jewelry Gallery is considered one of the best jewelry destinations in the country, and the ideal spot for fine and demi-fine gifts. ‘We carry more than 80 jewelry designers, offering a wide range of styles and price points,’ notes CEO Jay Hartington, who says the boutique’s most popular fine jewelers include Foundrae and Irene Neuwirth. ‘Foundrae’s best-sellers are the chains and medallions, while its enamel and diamond medallions provide positive and spiritual connection,’ he explains. ‘Irene Neuwirth gives us flowers, hearts, pearls and the perfect gemstone line bracelet. Her signature rose-cut and cabochon stones are unique, feminine and soft. She has a devoted following and our clients can’t get enough.’ Other notable highlights are Anita Ko for her leaf collection and comfortable ear cuffs, and Suzanne Kalan’s signature firework stones.
When it comes to demi-fine jewelry gifts, Dana Rebecca Designs touches on the classics, offering a price point that works for any generation. ‘Everyone is loving her Ava Bea diamond tennis necklace and Kristyn Kylie gemstone eternity bands,’ says Hartington. ‘Sydney Evan is known for her stackable, stretch gemstone bracelets with meaningful charms. Once you collect one, you immediately want another.’ Other great gifting brands to note are MONICA RICH KOSANN, Gurhan and Alison Lou — all available to buy on FARFETCH.