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The Six-Figure Gift Bags Given to Oscar Nominees Are Very ‘White Lotus’ This Year

Scouted/The Daily Beast/iStock.
Scouted/The Daily Beast/iStock.

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Luxury vacations in Lake Como and Kauai’s south shore aren’t enough. In his 25 years in business, Lash Fary, founder of marketing company Distinctive Assets and the architect behind the world’s most elaborate gift bags, has fantasized about giving Hollywood royalty even more come Oscar night. “Oprah beat me to it, but I’ve always wanted to give cars,” Fary says, recalling the landmark episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in which the host gave audience members Pontiac G-6 sedans. Specifically, he envisions giving electric cars with year-long leases (something he considers an improvement to certificates for three-month, conventional car leases, which the company has given in the past). “Instead of using suitcases, we’d put all the gifts in a car that they drive away,” he says of his fantasy gift “bag” for Oscar nominees. Can you even?

Fary hasn’t been able to give his white whale of a gift just yet—he says he’s in talks with a couple of electric car companies and may be able to give year-long leases sometime in the next few years. Then again, the swag he’s negotiated to give this year’s 26 select Academy Award nominees isn’t exactly kibble (though actual kibble is included in this year’s offerings).

The items totaling a six-figure sum include Potenza microneedling with radio frequency treatments (made to deliver a lit-from-within glow that celebs love to attribute to water intake alone), complementary project management services from Maison Contractors (an LA company that specializes in luxury, custom home renovations), a private sound bath with healer Kate Schofield, an $1800 wine fridge and lots of R&R. Specifically, three nights of exclusive and private use of the Chalet Zermatt Peak property (and staff) in Switzerland for a party of 10; a seven-day wellness retreat at the famed Golden Door in Southern California; and a three-night stay in a luxury villa for a party of two at Saint-Barth Paradise in St. Barts.

Typically, only two gift bag recipients cash in on these instant vacations in a given year, Fary says. Two! Last year, Stephanie Hsu didn’t let a luxury stay in a converted lighthouse at Faro Punta Imperatore in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, go to waste, and the last time Mark Ruffalo was nominated, he and his wife opted in on a stay at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy.

Want to suss out who in Hollywood can’t pass up a free vacation? Check the social media feeds of Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel and those nominated for Academy Awards in the best actor and actress, best supporting actor (which include Ruffalo) and actress, and best director categories this year, as this is the exclusive bunch who will receive a $170,000 “Everybody Wins” gift bag (far fewer than who receive the five-figure Grammy gift bag that Fary also produces).

Though this (or any gift bag) isn’t officially associated with the Academy (and hasn’t been since a 2017 lawsuit over the matter), celebs still get excited about receiving the goods, Fary says. Dispensing of the bags certainly recalls a certain Publisher’s Clearinghouse kind of vibe: “Rachel McAdams happened to be meeting with her manager when her bag was dropped off,” he says. “She poked her head [from out of the meeting] to excitedly ask, ‘Is that for me?’” Best Director nominee Bary Jenkins’ had the same reaction when his “Everyone Wins” bag was delivered to his home, Fary says. This year's best actress nominee, Sandra Huller, also requested that her bag be shipped to her home ... in Germany. Maybe plans to deliver all that swag in a leased car is better left on ice after all.

Below, find a few of the more portable items featured in this year’s gift bag for select nominees.

Antigua Cruz Añejo Cristalino Tequila

Who needs tissues when there’s tequila to celebrate a win—or console a loss? This top-shelf tequila is made with 100 percent blue agave, aged for 36 months, and double distilled in stainless tanks for a bright, clean flavor suited to sipping.

Buy Antigua Cruz Añejo Cristalino Tequila at Old Town Tequila, $50

V-dog Vegan Kibble Dry Dog Food (24 LB)

One of the most redeemed gift certificates ever given in a Distinctive Assets gift bag to Oscar nominees? Meal donations to an animal shelter. This year, the company is revisiting one of its greatest hits with certificates for 10,000 meals given to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund in the nominees’ names. Kibble from this vegan dog food brand is also free of corn, soy, and wheat, which vets may recommend for dogs with delicate stomachs and skin allergies.

Buy V-dog Vegan Kibble Dry Dog Food (24 LB) at Amazon, $90

Eatable Popcorn Top Shelf Trio Luxe Popcorn Gift Box

Premium popcorn is a natural fit for celebrity gift bags: after all, popcorn and movies have been together since cinemas started selling the snack during the great depression. But this isn’t your standard movie theater compromise. With flavors like scotch-infused caramel and champagne-infused white chocolate kettle corn, these snack packs are suited for any special occasion.

Buy Eatable Popcorn Top Shelf Trio Luxe Popcorn Gift Box at Eatable, $35

Jambys

Part boxers, part briefs, part basketball shorts (with pockets!), these unisex bottoms are made of 95 percent ultra-soft Modal fabric for peak comfort.

Buy Jambys at Jambys, $38

Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray

A heat protectant spray that cuts blow dry time in half? Glam on the go just got easier.

Buy Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray at Ulta, $42

Schwank Portable Infrared Grill (Propane)

It’s culinary tech made in paleo heaven: a device that sears juicy steaks in three minutes using heating technology employed in some of the nation’s most renowned steakhouses (think: Morton’s The Steakhouse, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and The Palm). This portable, infrared steak grill evenly heats food up to 1500° fahrenheit (more than double the heat produced by conventional grills), which sparks a chemical reaction among amino acids and sugars to produce more robust flavors in foods without drying them out. What’s more, the grill doubles as an outdoor pizza oven, grilling pies on par with what’s being served at this year’s Vanity Fair Oscars Party in just five minutes flat.

Buy Schwank Portable Infrared Grill (Propane) at Amazon, $1250

Hey Dude Sirocco Sneakers

This company makes the kind of feather-light, no-tie sneaker that feel excessively cushy and is perfect for throwing on during a morning Erewhon-and-papp stroll with the dog.

Buy Hey Dude Sirocco Sneakers at Hey Dude, $75

Overnight Travel Bag Duffel

Gift bag recipients will be among the first to receive this luxe, vegan leather duffel, only available in pre-order.

Buy Overnight Travel Bag Duffel at Overnight, $250

Rubik’s Cube Special Retro 50th Anniversary Edition

You might look at a Rubik’s Cube and see a deceptively tricky toy (if not the original time suck). But its inventor, Professor Ernő Rubik, considered his work a piece of art. In this reissue that taps the original logo, colorway and packaging, the toy is celebrated as it was first imagined exactly 50 years ago.

Buy Rubik’s Cube Special Retro 50th Anniversary Edition at Amazon, $13

Gin Bothy Gin

Nevermind James Bond. Some of the most discerning drinkers are Hollywood players obsessed with “clean” everything. This small batch and hand poured gin— produced by a woman distiller in Scotland’s north eastern valleys—is all natural, sugar free, and infused with a gorgeous bouquet of Scottish herbs (including heather, milk thistle, pine needles, hawthorn root, and rosemary).

Buy Gin Bothy Gin at Total Wine, $45

Bored Rebel Super Nice V-Neck Tee

With ultrasoft, moisture-wicking fabric and a comfortable, tag-free design that stays tucked into pants and doesn’t get in the way of a collar, this tee—made to be worn under dress shirts—checks all the boxes. But it also offers a little something unexpected: a graphic design positioned right where buttons meet on a dress shirt. It’s an incog style flex that won’t peek through when worn under suiting.

Buy Bored Rebel Super Nice V-Neck Tee at Amazon, $59

Fetcha Chocolates Dark Chocolate Bar

A pink heart filled with white chocolate ganache that was inspired by the movie Barbie. A dark chocolate chili ganache, loaded with Pop Rocks, as inspired by Oppenheimer. The chocolates in this gift bag were literally made for the movies. But even without such limited edition fare, this Scottish chocolatier has Hollywood’s number: its confections are vegan and wrapped in plastic-free packaging.

Buy Fetcha Chocolates Dark Chocolate Bar at Fetcha Chocolate, $4

MORE FROM SCOUTED:

How To Eat Like an A-Lister at The Vanity Fair Oscar Party

At $36,000, This Year’s Grammy Awards Gift Bag Is as Indulgent as Ever

Cut the Cord? Here’s How to Watch the 96th Academy Awards Without Cable

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