There are no losers at the Oscars.
With the hardware from Hollywood’s biggest night handed out, the A-listers have dispersed to celebrate their wins, or lick their wounds and wonder what might have been. It shouldn’t be too hard with US$225,000 worth of celebrity swag in tow.
The glitzy gift bags given out to night’s biggest nominees have risen in value since last year by around US$80,000, according to Forbes, with the cost of all 24 bags combining for US$5.4-million. Assembled by Distinctive Assets, the gifts are typically reserved for the 25 nominees in the major acting and directing categories but one less was needed this year because Scarlett Johansson was up for two awards (leading actress in Marriage Story and supporting actress in Jojo Rabbit).
“Maybe I’ll reach out to see if (Johansson) wants to donate the second one,” Lash Fary, the founder of Distinctive Assets, told Forbes. It isn’t common for celebrities to give up the pricey pouches, although Fary — who is nicknamed the sultan of swag — said actress Glenn Close asked for hers to be given to a women’s charity last year.
With the big-ticket items on offer this year, that’s probably not going to happen again. High on the luxurious list of items in the bag is a 12-day cruise on the Scenic Eclipse, a yacht that accommodates 220 guests, with butler service, of course, two helicopters and a spa. At $78,190, it is the most expensive single item Distinctive Assets has offered. Destinations include the Mediterranean or Antarctica and the voucher also grants a trip on a submarine.
The bag also provides for a trip to a scenic Spanish lighthouse that has been transformed into a luxury hotel ($1,300-$1,800 per night), a year-long membership to Drawing Down the Moon matchmaking service ($20,000) and cosmetic and rejuvenation procedures worth up to $25,000.
The items get a little unusual the deeper you dig, with nominees also given something called the Peezy Midstream — a urine collection system that can accurately test for infections. Soma also got in on the action, offering individualized measurement services to provide something harder to find (I’m told) than an Oscar: The perfect fitting bra.
The bags come loaded with Hfactor hydrogen-infused water ($29.99), Hotsy Totsy Haus bath bombs ($75) and a brainwave-sensing headband by Muse that is purported to make mediation easier to achieve ($250).
No bounty intended for Hollywood’s high-rollers would be complete without some cannabis content, however, and Coda Signature stepped up to provide a “one-of-a-kind cannabis-infused chocolate culinary experience” worth $10,000. CBD Barkeep provided the syrup to make CBD drinks, SHEbd delivered the essential oils and Hollowtips brought the fancy gold-plated vape pens ($150).
“Leo was our inspiration,” Fary said of the celeb who famously broke out his vape at the SAG awards four years ago. “I’m sure if he wants it upgraded to full gold, Hollowtips would be happy to do it for him.”
But the most popular item in the bag on Oscar night might have been the cheapest: $4.89 dark chocolate Milanos. “Sometimes it’s the little things that people like most, not the most expensive thing in the gift bag,” Fary said.
Certainly not for the celebs who got into the cannabis a little early.
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Written by David Yasvinski