Christmas is upon us once again and you, dear reader, have less than two weeks left to find the perfect original presents for your loved ones. But don’t despair, The Word is here to help you keep the holiday season’s shopping stress levels down with this hand-picked, carefully-selected gift guide that includes everything from fashionable eco-watches to sound-making coffee machines. Merry Christmas!
We love Ghent-based
Studio Woot Woot for their colourful and playful creations, but this stylish magazine holder (155€) made from white, powder coated steel and natural leather we chose for its simplicity and sober elegance. Available from one of our all-time favourite Belgian design shops, La Fabrika. La Fabrika, Rue A. Dansaertstraat 182 – 1000 Brussels.
Kinfolk magazine, or “ a guide for small gatherings” as its makers describe it, was launched last year and is one of the most interesting and original new publications on the market. It champions an appreciation for good photography, art and design, and spending time with family and friends. A yearly subscription (65€) can be ordered here. Single issues are available from Mercredi, Rue Armand Campenhoutstraat 48 – 1050 Brussels
Right: Not an ordinary
ladies’ bag: This model, named ‘Sleazy Jane’ (229€) from Dutch brand OMyBag, is not only functional and fashionable with its slightly used, vintage look, but also completely fair-trade and eco-friendly. The leather is tanned without using harmful chemicals and OMyBags leather workshops in India support the education and integration of economically and physically challenged minorities. Available from Bonnie & Jane, Rue Darwinstraat 34 – 1050 Brussels.
Left: French clothing brand
A.P.C. is known for its minimalist, elegant designs, clean lines and simple patterns. This soft-knitted navy blue shawl-collar cardigan (420€) made out of wool with real horn buttons is the perfect example and will keep him warm during these cold winter days. Available from A.P.C., Lombardenvest 12 – 2000 Antwerp
These X-mini speakers (29,90€) are the perfect companion for music lovers on the go, so light and small they fit into every handbag. Available in 9 different colours, they can run up to 12 hours and can easily be attached to smartphones or tablets. Available from Your concept store, Kloosterstraat 90 – 2000 Antwerp
Gifts for culture vultures: the (33€) allows film buffs entry to 6 movies at reduced prices, and they can bring someone along, too. We love the Vendome cinema for its carefully selected programme that sees beyond the usual blockbusters, making room for more alternative and foreign films. Photography fans and museum lovers will enjoy the Vendome fidelity card (100€), a subscription that includes free entrance for two for a whole year, an exhibition catalogue and invitations to openings and exhibition previews with the artist present.
FOMU friend card
If you’re looking for a super quirky and truly original gift, then Atelier Claus’ Coffee Randomizer (60€) is for you. The noise-making, sound-spitting coffee machine (that does not make coffee) was designed by British Brussels-based artist Peter Keene, who’s known for his playful sculptures that explore sound and science. Available from Wiels, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354 – 1190 Brussels
Percy Stone is a young Belgian label ( we recently interviewed its creators for our duo series) that makes nothing but scarves that stand out for their high-quality fabrics and beautiful prints. This one (85€) and many other different designs can be found on famousbox.be. This original, elegant necklace is from the NewspaperWood series designed by by Mieke Meijer for Rens (98€). Meijer makes logs of wood out of stacks of old newspapers which she not only uses to make jewellery but also cabinets, chairs and lamps. The necklace with the NewspaperWood pendant is framed in brass and engraved with the date of publication of the newspaper that the particular piece of wood is made from. Available from Helder,Vrijdagmarkt 13 – 2000 Antwerp
After the success of their fashion label Dévastée, French designer duo Ophélie Klère and François Alary founded the rather dark and playful Après La Mort. This cardigan for him (312€), featuring the typical Après La Mort colour palette – black and white – is and eyecatcher with its modern, geometric design. Available from MAPP, Rue Léon Lepagestraat 5 – 1000 Brussels. Polaroid cameras and films are hard to find these days and for those looking for an alternative, may we suggest the Fuji Instax 7S, a point-and-shoot instant camera that’s easy to use and will definitely bring some family fun to the Christmas table. Available from Fnac, Avenue de la Toison d’Or 17 Gulden Vlieslaan – 1000 Brussels.
Left: Watch-makers have come a long way since their iconic colourful pop swatches with their huge signature wrist band. Nowadays, we’d go for this slightly less eye-catching model (45€), simple, sporty and elegant with a sunbrushed green strap and glittered print. Available from Inno, Avenue Louise 12 Louizalaan – 1000 Brussels. Right: Green on the inside, Swatch ’s eco watches not only win you over with their original design but also with their eco-friendliness: all models are made out of 100% natural wood, are completely devoid of artificial or toxic materials and every time a watch is bought a tree is planted. This beautiful model (99,95€) is called ‘Voyage’. Available from Philip Hoet, Leopold de Waelplaats 12 – 2000 Antwerp
The iconic Hermès padlock that has decorated countless bags over the years has been converted into a gorgeous perfume bottle (147€). The lock spray, available in gold and silver, can be filled with four different fragrances for a truly classy present. Available from Hermès, Boulevard de Waterloolaan 50 – Brussels