Okay, Glow Up gang: It’s officially December, and if you haven’t already, you need to start shopping for the holidays. Sure, we know not everyone celebrates, but for those who do, we also know not everyone is easy to shop for. For instance, what do you get the person who seemingly already has everything, without just copping out on a generic Target gift card? (No shade to Target; we love Target. And if your gift recipient loves Target, too, you can stop reading now.)
With that in mind, The Glow Up is doing things a bit differently this year, to help you get a little further in your holiday shopping, with a slightly more personal touch. For the next 12 days, we’ll be giving you gift suggestions for every type of person in your life, at every price-point; giving you just enough time to avoid those pesky expedited shipping costs. And yes, we’ll even include some gift card, certificate and made-to-order suggestions that’ll show the ones you love how much you care—and how well you’ve been listening all year.
Since we like to get the big spends out of the way first, that’s where—or wear—we’ll begin. Good loving doesn’t come cheap, but it can still be meaningful, philanthropic, and exclusively black-owned (or black-helmed). Here, some of our favorite luxury finds for those who deserve and often demand the very best (don’t worry; we’ll be back with the best for less, too):
We are huge fans of Brother Vellies’ footwear, and even bigger fans of designer Aurora James’ socially-conscious production process, which is to employ artisans in Africa to produce her line of, frankly, gorgeous footwear and accessories for women, men and kids, inspired by her favorite African designs. Our current obsession? Her animal-printed Palms boots ($750), which can truly be worn with pretty much anything, and are therefore a worthwhile investment (think cost-per-wear, kids).
With a price range of just under $200 to over $1300, you may be more inclined to treat yourself to a Brother Vellies buy than someone else, but if you’re looking to support a luxury shoe habit and a sustainable mission simultaneously, $100 to $500 gift certificates are available.
In case you haven’t heard, the belt bag is back in a big way—just don’t call it a fanny pack. Enter Brooklyn-based brand Ashya, whose clean designs ($400 and up) in luxury-grade leathers are perfect for the minimalist “modern day explorer” in your life who knows that less is more.
Want to get something special for the jewel in your life? Third Crown’s substantial designs will let them know your love is made to last. Worn by Issa Rae and not one, but both famed Knowles sisters, this celebrity-endorsed-brand is literally made with love by New York-based husband and wife design duo Kristin and Kofi Essel (fun fact: Kristin is formerly of luxury jeweler David Yurman).
Is there anything more luxurious than made-to-measure clothing? It’s an option with Fe Noel’s incredible line of resort-worthy wear, available for pre-order now through December 14. Frankly, we’re not sure which of Noel’s gorgeous designs we love best, and thankfully, you can leave that up to the lucky recipient of a gift certificate, available via her site or by calling (866) 342-4665.
Fake fur has finally taken over as fashion’s cold-weather favorite, but if you’re still beholden to the real thing, designer Romeo Hunte has the goods—that is, if you’ve got an extra $8,000 to $18,000 hanging around (hey, this is a luxury lovers’ guide). But for a fraction of that price, $995, to be exact, you can dress like forever First Lady Michelle Obama in Hunte’s leather-trimmed wool and denim Bond St. Jacket.
Aminah Abdul Jillil
Yes, we know all about “red bottoms” (and own a few pairs), but our new luxury footwear fetish is firmly fixated on dancer-turned-footwear designer Aminah Abdul Jillil’s sky high line. With bows as a constant motif, a pair of these gorgeous heels (or flats) feel made for gift-giving, no box required. Just ask Tracee Ellis Ross, who rocked a pair to host this year’s American Music Awards.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a gift card option on Jillil’s site, but personally, we’d be delighted to find a picture of one of her gorgeous styles and an I.O.U. under the tree this season.
Black Panther was unquestionably the biggest film of the year, and if you loved the heavy metals as much as the action, you’ll want to check out the line of sculptural, culturally-evocative pieces from the film’s jewelry designer, Douriean. With options available from $185 to $2,785, you can gift a bit of her blockbuster-worthy magic for less than the price of vibranium—or, you can commission an original piece from this black genius.
Who says makeup isn’t a luxury? Not this writer; I’ve had three of billion-dollar baby Pat McGrath’s Mothership eyeshadow palettes in my shopping cart for months, without pulling the trigger. So, suffice to say I’d love to find one of them (or all three) in my stocking this year. And with a 25% sitewide VIP sale going on as we speak, now would be exactly the time for my loved ones to... well, show the love.
That is, if they don’t want to cop me this $400 Mothership bomber jacket.
Okay, Big Spender! If you’ve made it this far, you likely don’t mind a substantial splurge for the ones you love—but don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of bargains in store for you over the next two weeks, too. Stay tuned for our next installment tomorrow, and remember: When in doubt, wear—and buy—black.