Actor and director Gabriel Macht, who played Harvey Specter in ‘Suits’, was the subject of our most-read ‘Who The F*** Are You?’ profile this year.
And he says: “I have three things I would love to be given for the holidays.
“25 signed copies of ‘The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love’ by Bell Hooks, because this book has changed my life in so many ways. It has humbled me and taught me so much about patriarchy, white privilege, healing, expressing feelings, empathy, and love. I’d keep one and send the rest to my dad, uncles, brothers, cousins, and dear male friends in my life.
“One signed copy of Wallace Stegner’s ‘Crossing To Safety’ so I could gift it to my wife. This is the first book we read together and the title was the major theme of our marriage vows.
“Last, I’d love one of those catch it/gap trays for the driver and passenger seat of my car so I don’t lose my keys or phone and have to search for it under my seat!”
And he says: “I know it’s sad and showing my age, because in years past I wanted a fancy car or a big screen TV. This year all I want is the ladies from that Netflix show ‘The Home Edit’ to come to my house and organize me. Not sexy I know. but that is what I want.”
Hair stylist Johnnie Sapong, who counts Jude Law, Naomi Campbell and John Boyega among his clients, was one of the leading groomers to recommend his favorite hair products to our community in October.
And he says: “I was only asking Santa last night for a hot yoga dome for at home use. Something for family stress relief. And my wife swears by it for her sciatica (hot yoga, that is).
“I would also like record decks and speakers! Would be great to play the ‘Small Axe’ soundtrack (check out Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ series) as there are some cracking tunes on there.”
Alex Iwanchuk is the co-founder of CDB brand Feals, and in October he told us how he launched the company after CBD helped him overcome his own anxiety and depression.
“The ‘Five Minute Journal’ is something I was gifted last Christmas and thought it was such a cool gift.” he says.
“The daily practice of gratitude has made a huge impact on my mental health. Even with all the curve balls in 2020, there is a lot to be grateful for! We gifted our top customers a ‘Five Minute Journal’ last year that embossed the Feals logo on the cover. The gift was very well received!”
Oscar-winning special effects jedi John Dykstra — the man who brought the ‘Star Wars’ universe to life on our screens — was another to share his wisdom in our ‘Who The F*** Are You?’ profile this year.
He says: “My idea of a great gift is the to offer to help a friend clean out a closet full of stuff they just can’t decide whether to keep or not.
“The willingness to be responsible for telling someone else what to keep or discard and the willingness of that person to accept your opinion is a profound proof of trust. A gift to both people. Then again It could all go south.”
Model and footwear entrepreneur was the epitome of inner and outer style in our interview in September.
And he says: “On my wish list is a Sony PS5 — my son is into games and it would be a great way to bond with him over the holidays. Also Bang & Olufsen Beosound 2 speakers, it’s my favorite speaker brand and the sound quality and reach are impeccable. And a Michael Browne bespoke jacket — simply put, the best bespoke house in London Mayfair.”
Celebrity hair stylist shared his wild ride to creating one of the world’s leading salons in an interview with us back in August.
He adds: “This year is all about useful gifts. Not extravagant and useless but local businesses and pandemic friendly.”
Mr Feelgood co-founder Pete Samson suggests a gift that can be enjoyed with your children.
He says: “Among the many wonderful things about having young kids (I have five-year-old twins) is reconnecting with things we enjoyed before life got in the way, and embracing the exciting new imaginary worlds that have been created since. I’ve mixed both these elements in the only thing I’ve asked for this Christmas — some Harry Potter Lego.
“I loved Lego as a boy and have dived back in as a dad. I find building it very relaxing and a great activity to help me be totally present when playing with my kids. And I was too old to take much notice of Harry Potter when it was released, so we’re all enjoying discovering those stories together. I’ve specifically gone for a Hagrid’s Hut Lego set on my Christmas list as when we play together my son is Harry, my daughter Hermione… and I’m Hagrid, of course.”
Seedlip founder Ben Branson shared the origin story of his pioneering non-alcoholic spirit company with us in September — and he recommends a subscription to health brand he holds in high regard.
And he says: “I really admire Seed as a company. They’re smart and innovative, and operate with our planet in mind.
“It’s a bit of a commitment as it’s subscription based, but with health being a heightened priority this year in particular, I recommend their Daily Synbiotic. This combination prebiotic/probiotic pill is backed by serious science and goes well beyond gut health. Not to mention, it comes in fully sustainable packaging, complete with a biodegradable and home-compostable tray made of renewable ingredients, produced energy-efficiently. And your monthly refills are sent protected in a cornstarch foam that dissolves in water like magic.”
TV and radio host Jamie East helms The Smart 7 podcast which condenses the day’s news into seven info-packed minutes, and is a member of our valued digital community.
He says: “Bar a rare disaster (a lock picking kit?!) I’m largely proud of my disgusting amount of lockdown purchases. Most were originally based on being stuck at home in the summer heat, so I will spare you the garden hammock recommendation (although when the heat rises once more, seek out a Fatboy). But the one thing that has been completely, utterly life changing, which every single household should buy immediately, and despite the risky connotations would be an ideal gift for a partner is… a robot vacuum and mop. Oh. My. F******. God. What a revelation.
“The iRobot combo has revolutionized the East household. It’s like having two reverse pets that scoot around the house cleaning s*** up. App-driven and linked to my Alexa, once they have (very cleverly) learned the layout of your house, all you need to do is shout, ‘Alexa tell Harry to vacuum the kitchen.’ (Oh yeah, you can give them a name — mine is named after Harry Styles, something about him and suction sat happily with Mrs East). And off he pops tootling from under the sofa, gets his head down and gets the job done.
“Given the choice between a car and a robot vacuum mop… I’ll walk from now on thanks.”
Chris Gates recounted his positive personal experience playing video games in our article examining whether gaming is good or bad for our mental health.
“The number one thing on my list is the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones,” he says.
“Definitely in need of these so I can lovingly tune out my family from time to time because our walls are so thin. Also just nice to every once in a while get lost in my head with a soundtrack to guide me.
“Number two is definitely a PENN Squall Level Wind Reel & Rod Fishing Combo. I’ve been dying to go to the ocean and go fishing even since I got home, but have never actually have owned a rod. It’d be pretty nice to take an adventure with some friends, whenever quarantine may end, and teach myself how to properly fish at the beach. “
Advertising pioneer David Angelo, founder of the David & Goliath agency, shared his story with us last month of building his business around a central philosophy of bravery.
He says: “2020 has been a year of immense challenge and watershed moments. And as we bring it to a close, theres no better gift than the feeling of gratitude I have for the friends who have been there for me through it all. That’s gift one.”
“But if I had to name another for those looking for a last minute gift idea for me, I’d have to go with the incredibly durable tan RM Williams Kangaroo Chelsea Boots, which look especially good when propped up on the same stool I’ve been glued to for the past nine months. And for extra holiday credit, you can throw in a bottle of Lagavulin 12yr. That way, I can toast to the infinite possibilities that await me and my fine boots in 2021.”
Photographer Kurt Iswarienko was the man behind the lens for many of our Mr Feelgood shoots this year, including the profiles of actor Gabriel Macht and dancer Derek Hough. He is a pioneer of remote photoshoots and at the cutting edge of innovation in his industry, but his gift list has a charming old school feel.
“Every carpenter needs a good set of t-squares to be any good around the woodshop and Woodpecker makes the most beautiful red anodized aluminum precision machined Pocket T-Squares,” he says.
“They are as beautiful and rugged as they are functional, and having them in hand and in sight around the wood shop is a constant cue that quality and care go a long way in making worthwhile things.
“And a record collection is only as good as it’s cleanest records. Spending big on cartridges and loudspeakers and idler drive turn tables is only part of getting good sound out of a hi-fi audio system. The last mile in great sounding records is making sure the record itself is as clean as possible. The Audio Desk 2020 is bar none the best in the world at quickly and effectively cleaning vinyl.“