I love approaching gift-giving as a language of love, a gesture of genuine care, for others and even for oneself. Whether it's material treasures or enriching adventures, my focus has shifted towards selecting items that elevate the quality of an experience, merging both luxury and functionality. So, without further ado, here is my curated selection of design-centric, travel-inspired picks.
Wallpaper* gift guide by travel editor Sofia de la Cruz
A glossy green carry-on
Rimowa's Essential Cabin suitcase, true to its name, is a must-have. Its structured and minimalist design, highlighted by sharp lines at the front, practically begs to be on your annual gift wishlist. This particular carry-on, sporting a sleek green gloss colour, exudes timeless elegance and is ideal for two to three days of travel. Thanks to its dual interior organisation, keeping things in perfect order during travel is a breeze. Not only is it the world's first polycarbonate suitcase, but it also promises stable and effortless steering, courtesy of ball-bearing mounted wheels with cushioned axles.
A stylish urban ride
Cowboy's Cruiser ST is the brand's initial venture into step-through models, catering to diverse riding styles, heights, and preferences. It provides an upright riding position, delivering a more comfortable riding experience. Available in five different colours, ranging from pastels to monochromatic options, this e-bike is a must-have for urban riders and those who want to start e-cycling in style.
A trusty travel companion
For avid travellers who appreciate versatility, owning a crossover large bag is practically essential. The Lemaire soft game bag, in a rich dark chocolate hue, draws inspiration from the French maison's signature ‘Croissant’ bag. It features a larger shape and a water-repellent body crafted from wadded nylon with a matte surface, ensuring durability and a robust structure that maintains its shape over time. Embroidered eyelets and self-fabric laces secure the bottom, enabling easy volume adjustments. This bag can be comfortably worn either on the shoulder or as a crossbody bag, adding to its adaptability.
A cute cart bag
Another stylish tote option is the Bao Bao Issey Miyake ‘Cart’. This shoulder bag, in a lovely shade of pistachio green, comes with two adaptable nylon straps and a spacious interior zip pocket. The ‘Cart’ is a convenient, all-encompassing design perfect for everyday necessities or short trips.
Also available from ssense.com
A New Era classic
Exploring a museum store after a highly anticipated exhibition is a surefire way to elevate your mood. This MoMA NY Yankees Adjustable Baseball Cap was featured in MoMA's 2017 exhibition ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ – an exploration of the present, past, and occasionally future of 111 clothing and accessory items. Crafted by New Era, a company with a baseball cap legacy dating back to the 1930s, this adjustable cap comes in six vibrant colours, adorned with the New Era logo and the MLB (Major League Baseball) emblem.
A great graphic journal
Starting a new diary at the beginning of each year has become a cherished tradition for me. Amidst the endless journal options, this one designed by Rotterdam-based graphic designer Marjolein Delhaas stands out with its blend of simplicity and boldness. With 365 blank pages, each marked with prominent page numbers, the Marjolein Delhaas Journal 365 offers ample space for note-taking, analysis, organisation, and creative expression.
Some light refreshment
Whether on a leisurely trip or a work-related journey, there often comes a moment to savour a favourite drink, necessitating a reliable bottle opener. Excelling in transforming everyday items into remarkable treasures, Alessi’s ‘Bulla’ bottle opener is the one to have. Crafted in stainless steel and designed by Valerio Sommella, Bulla is a practical and compact tool, conveniently portable for on-the-go use. Its sleek and sophisticated design allows Bulla to double as an elegant pendant.
An elegant travel jewel
The Tom Wood Arch Square Black Onyx Ring is a versatile and lightweight accessory that complements any style, making it an essential for travel. Crafted from solid sterling silver with white rhodium plating, this piece draws inspiration from the history of silver and brutalist architecture. The collection follows a modular system, enabling you to customise and craft your unique piece of jewellery. Featuring square-cut natural Black Onyx stones set in a fine bezel, it combines elegance with a touch of individuality.
An all-round mood enhancer
Aesop's Ginger Flight Therapy is a hidden gem on the brink of discovery. This roll-on pulse-point therapy, enriched with ginger root, lavender, and geranium oils, is tailor-made for travel or office settings. Ideal for on-the-go application, simply roll it onto your neck, temples, wrists, behind the ears, or abdomen during moments of stress, nausea, or fatigue.
A delectable emergency kit
I love the concept of a Christmas emergency kit, and Oranj in London’s Shoreditch has the perfect solution. The Oranj Christmas Survival Hamper includes a bottle of Entre Vinyes Pet Nat Rosé, Kold Sauce’s Fermented Hot Sauce, Perello's Manzanilla Olives, Pratt Schneider's Dijon Style Mustard, and Pyscis Tinned Fish’s Hand-Fileted Sardines. For a sweet touch, there's a bar of UpUp’s Sea Salt & Lime Chocolate. To banish bad vibes, they've included Cremate Mary Mother of God’s incense and a hand-screen-printed Oranj Tote Bag.
A cocktail at an iconic Tokyo bar
Aside from Park Hyatt Tokyo's New York Bar earning lasting fame through its cameo in Sofia Coppola's atmospheric 2003 film, Lost In Translation (pictured top), the venue offers nightly jazz performances, with even locals dubbing its vibe 'more New York than New York'. The drink menu includes vintage cognac, brandy, classic and inventive cocktails, along with the most extensive selection of Californian wines in Japan. While optional, you might find yourself channelling a young Scarlett Johansson or Bill Murray in this iconic setting.
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Sofia de la Cruz, Travel Editor at Wallpaper*, was born in Madrid, Spain. Moving to London at 14 shaped the creative professional she has become today. Before joining the team in 2023, she was an associate editor at Hypebae, where her focus was on the intersection of fashion, art, and culture. She also contributed as a writer for Futurevvorld, covering a variety of sustainability topics.
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
This Walter S White house in Indio is given a new lease of life
This Walter S White house in Indio, California, has been redesigned for the 21st century by Sean Gaston
By Hadani Ditmars Published
The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 celebrate UK’s rising creatives
Here are The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 winners, spanning theatre writing, jazz composition and regenerative design
By Tianna Williams Published