“So many of my favorite gifts are things that I find myself talking about long after I have received them,” explained Carmen to Rachel Garrahan of The New York Times when asked to put together her gifting suggestions for the holiday season. Given her work in the luxury fashion space, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the items Carmen favors reflect her insider knowledge. However, she also values handcrafted and purposeful items, and here are a few of her chosen pieces.
A collaboration between photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and the World Land Trust, this book highlights the relationship between the elephants and people inhabiting the remote Wayanad Wildlife Reserve in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Carmen is passionate about the natural world and committed to making sure we preserve it for future generations, and all proceeds from the sale of this book will support the trust’s conservation work. Anyone donating £60 ($79) or more to the World Land Trust will receive a complimentary copy.
“I love to give pieces from Lotus Arts de Vivre,” said Carmen. “You can get fantastic pieces which inject style and humor, from crocodile table runners through to the best salad servers.” The iconic brand is known for its bold Asian and animal-themed creations, made using opulent raw materials, and this teak wood tray with silver frog is an unusual piece that will definitely get house guests talking.
An avid traveller, Carmen shares her globetrotting lifestyle with Stephanie von Watzdorf, and it’s this spirit of wanderlust that has inspired the designer's lifestyle brand Figue. “ Figue reminds me of the joy and fun that comes with travel,” said Carmen. “This Tuk Tuk bag will provide instant color and joy to whomever you gift it to.”
The stunning jewels from one of Carmen’s favorite designers, Elie Top, also make the list. Inspired by antique astronomical clocks and celestial measuring instruments, these pieces are unique. “They certainly give the “wow” factor when unwrapped,” she said.
See Carmen’s complete list of gift ideas here.