Gift Guide: Donna Karan, Nadja Swarovski and More Divulge Their Wish Lists

Arbiters of style from fashion, design, sports and entertainment share gift choices exclusively with the Observer.

Blake Mycoskie
As chief shoe giver at TOMS, outdoor guy Mr. Mycoskie, who founded a philanthropic empire upon one simple, cool design has donated over 10 million pairs of shoes through a “one for one” initiative. Just in time for the holidays, TOMS has teamed up with Target to offer shoes, a blanket, or meals to those in need for every Target + TOMS item purchased. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Mr. Mycoskie's Gifts for Family and Friends
Shinola Men’s Bixby Bicycle ( $1,950, “I love that Shinola is investing in American jobs and craftsmanship.”

Cherry Wood Troubadour Headphones by LSTN ($150 “For every pair sold, LSTN helps restore hearing to a person in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.”

Soccer Ball by One World Futbol Project ($40 (pictured) “With every ball you purchase, One World Futbol will donate a second ball to youth in disadvantaged communities.”

Gold Arrow Teak Tray by Rose & Fitzgerald ( $86 “Rose & Fitzgerald works with local artisans in Uganda to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces using traditional artistic techniques.”

Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack for traditional mate drinking by Guayaki ( $30 “By purchasing this gift pack, you’re helping Guayaki restore 200,000 acres of South American rainforest.”

Patagonia’s Men’s Reclaimed Wool Jacket from their Truth to Materials collection ( $299 “This reclaimed wool jacket is created using discarded wool sweaters.”

Men’s Messenger Bag by JOYN ( $152.00 “Handmade in India by local artisans living in the foothills of the Himalayas, JOYN helps improve their lives through meaningful work, educational opportunities and medical care.”

Bent on Learning Bracelet by Jill Platner (113 Crosby St.) $230 “This bracelet benefits Bent on Learning, a non-profit organization committed to teaching yoga to public school children in NYC.”

The Waterhog Surfboard by Channel Islands Surfboards ( $715 “They are a certified ‘Ecoboard’ producer, which means their boards have less of an environmental impact.”

Tenkara Fly Rod by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia $200 “This fly-fishing rod benefits Yellowstone National Park.” (Photo via One World Futbol Project)
Bobbi Brown
Makeup artist, beauty guru and founder of one of industry’s most successful makeup brands, Bobbi Brown is a firm believer that beauty comes from a healthy lifestyle. Yet she also appreciates that no woman can be perfect and creates products to go with busy lives and gorgeous faces. She is the go-to maestro when all other products fail. Ms. Brown was recently named editor in chief at Yahoo Beauty where she regularly offers health and beauty tips. (Photo by David X Prutting/
Ms. Brown's Gifts for Family and Friends
Organic Avenue Gift Cards
The Vitamix S30 Personal Blender $409 Nike Fuel Bands From $99

And on her personal wish list:

“I’m hoping to receive the Apple Watch when it comes out, mostly because of the great heart rate monitor! (Out Spring 2015). I’d also love to receive Ash Jungle Platform Skate Sneaker in black.” $170
Donna Karan
As one of the world’s most iconic fashion designers, Donna Karan created a luxurious, easy way to dress with comfortable, sexy clothing fashioned from top quality, stretchy fabrics. Put simply, she created a style of dressing that is now the foundation for hundreds of other labels, yet her endless talent means she is still ultimately an innovator. Ms. Karan is the founder of Urban Zen, an initiative dedicated to health care and the preservation of culture and education in developing countries. This year, Urban Zen is holding a Soulful Economy Holiday Marketplace featuring a curated collection of unique works of artisans to benefit the preservation of artisanal culture around the world. ( (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Ms. Karan's Gifts for Family and Friends
A one-of-a-kind artisan creation like jewelry pieces from Haiti.

Giving a charitable donation.

A trip to Africa, South America or Bali.

Time off for those who work with me.

You can never give or receive enough cashmere, especially blankets or scarves!
Georgina Bloomberg
Former first daughter of New York City, Ms. Bloomberg is an award-winning equestrian and ardent advocate of animal protection. She plays key roles in organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
Ms. Bloomberg's Gifts
Gifts for Her Son:

“For my son, Jasper, I am looking to get creative and do something meaningful because he gets toys all the time. I would love to rescue an animal from a pound every year and foster them until we can find them a home. I would keep a journal and take pictures every day and in a few years he’ll understand that giving an animal the gift of life was 10 times better than anything he could have received in a box. The best and most important gifts that I give every year are through the Winter Wishes program with New York Cares that fulfills gift requests for kids in the city who wouldn’t otherwise be receiving anything.” (

Gifts for Her Dad:

“He always used to get a framed picture of me because I could never think of what to get him, but this year I get to improve on that and give him a picture of his grandson who is much cuter than I am!“

(Photo by Saban Kilicci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Georgina Chapman
Ms. Chapman founded her high-end womenswear brand Marchesa with best friend Keren Craig in 2004. Ten years on, the brand is a red carpet mainstay, worn by Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz and Blake Lively. Her fine jewelry collection launches this month and is available at Macy’s stores just in time for the holidays. Ms. Chapman has appeared on TV’s Project Runway and is a red carpet stalwart herself, famous for her joie-de-vivre and friendly persona. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Ms. Chapman's Gifts for Family and Friends
Gifts for Family and Friends:

A Meghan Howland painting “Her artwork is captivating and makes for a truly personal and unique gift.” (Available through Saatchi Art,  

Argento SC sterling silver frames (Available at Bloomingdale’s) “I love gifting my family framed photographs from our trips and holidays spent together.”

Tabitha Simmons shoes (Pictured here, Bonai ankle boot, available at Saks) $1,095 “Anyone who tries Tabitha’s shoes becomes an instant fan!”

Lorraine Schwartz jewels “Her one-of-a-kind jewels are breathtaking and true works of art.”

Ghurka luggage (Pictured here, Pontoon 232 in Vintage Chestnut) $1,995 “I am a devotee to their luggage sets and they would make the perfect gift especially for your holiday getaway!”

Dolce + Gabbana children’s moon boots “They must be in high demand this holiday season, they’re sold out everywhere!”

Christian Louboutin’s new nail polish collection From $50 “The bottle design is brilliant and they make the perfect stocking stuffer.”

Tiffany’s “T” bracelet (“T Square” pictured here) $950 sterling silver, $5,000 rose and yellow gold “I love what Francesca Amfitheatrof is doing at Tiffany’s and this new bracelet is sure to become a cult favorite.”

Massage at Graceful Spa ( “A luxurious and pampered spa day is always a much appreciated gift!”
Jason Pomeranc
One of New York’s most eligible bachelors, Jason Pomeranc is the co-founder of the newly launched SIXTY Hotels brand with outposts in New York and Los Angeles. He is hard at work on his latest hotel venture in Miami, set to launch early next year. (Photo by Madison McGaw/
Mr. Pomeranc's Gifts
For his home:

André “Dream Concerts” Posters available at LACMA from $400

For Friends and Family:

Artists’ Cocktails by Ryan Gander. $69

Norman Mailer’s JFK.

Superman Comes to the Supermarket from TASCHEN $150

Hooded Baja Pullover $2,155

Todd Heim Projects Italian Linen Beach Towels $300

Stellar Hasselblad Limited Edition Camera $3,595

James Perse Limited Edition City Cruiser $2,200

The Macallan - Rare Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky from $300

Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia (from $150
Nadja Swarovski
During her illustrious tenure at the family company, Ms. Swarovski has taken the business from kitschy crystal swan figurines to the forefront of fashion, collaborating with Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy. The brand has also teamed up with architects such as John Pawson and Zaha Hadid and Swarovski crystals are a mainstay on elaborate Hollywood costumes for blockbusters such as The Great Gatsby and The Hunger Games saga. Ms. Swarovski is the first female member of the executive board at Swarovski and a key cultivator of fashion talent through Swarovski’s sponsorship of the CFDA Awards. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/
Ms. Swarovski's Gifts
For Friends and Family:

Jurassic Flower by Carlos Benaïm ( from $85 “This is a beautiful fresh scent.”

Jewelry from Maiyet (pictured here, Diamond Owl Cuff Bracelet)$55,000 “They truly believe in celebrating rare artisanal skills from unexpected places.”

(16 Crosby Street, New York and Barneys) Hollywood Costume by Deborah Nadoolman Landis “Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, it is a beautiful insight into the costume designs from the past 100 years of Hollywood films.” 

Tickets to Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum £17.60 ( “These would be a great stocking filler—I can’t wait for this exhibition to come home to London in March, the exhibition had sold out at the Met!”

Frozen “This is such a great Disney film for the whole family.” (Because Ms. Swarovski is as close as it gets to the real life Elsa.)

What to buy the crystal queen:

Nest Pashmina (Available through, from $120) “These hand-loomed silk pashminas are created by artisans in Varanasi, India, and are incredible.”

Ryan Korban
Seamlessly blending the drama of fashion with interior design is the MO of this young interior designer and co-founder of Edon Manor. Mr. Korban is the designer of choice for the elite downtown set, including, most notably, his bestie, Alexander Wang. (Photo by Neil Rasmus/
Mr. Korban's Gifts for Friends and Family
Flair New York’s Shagreen box with Ivory Diamond Motif $3,700 “I love shagreen. Boxes are fantastic gifts that look great on any surface and can hold sentimental items.”

Asprey Octopus Champagne cooler $2,600 “I love everything from Asprey ... they have such unique, thoughtful and most of all, fun gifts.”

Ralph Lauren Bond Mixologist Box $6,995 “It’s sexy and classic at the same time!”

Hermés Steinkraus Mini Saddle Statue $5,600 “I love the idea of a saddle used as a beautiful object in a home.”

Tom Ford Alligator Passport Holder $1,830 “Most of us are not going to buy ourselves an alligator passport holder, but who would not be thrilled to receive one from Tom Ford?”

When buying holiday gifts this year, why not take a hint from some of New York’s most refined tastemakers? A designer from TOMS, a Swarovski scion, a former First Daughter, an interior designer and more tell us what their ideal gifts are this season.

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