By Leanne Italie
They own yachts, big ol’ French chateaux and collect fine wine, so what’s left to buy the one percenter for the holidays when your budget is more cook-at-home than caviar?
We’re not talking fantasy gifts or bespoke anything because, really, we can’t afford that. Five ways to please your moneybags, from one 99 percenter to another:
Make them airport security kings
There’s first class, then there’s Globalentry.gov. It’s a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program offering pre-approved clearance upon landing at participating airports for international travelers. Your gift recipient must do the work of obtaining pre-clearance but need only head for the nearest Global Entry kiosk and scan those fingertips once they do. A receipt is generated for easy exit.
You can foot the $100 fee and let your VIP know approval comes with the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre check program. It allows for shoes and belts to stay on at departure through special security lanes using a barcode on boarding passes issued by participating airlines. See Tsa.gov/tsa-precheck for details.
You know that sailing doohickey from the Robert Redford movie?
Yeah, that. The Got Rockses have the yacht they like to sail themselves, but they may not have that old-fashioned thing that at least entertained Redford’s solitary man in “All is Lost” before his watery demise. It’s called a mariner’s sextant. It’s a simple instrument for celestial navigation that determines the angle between an object in the sky and the horizon — whilst in a pickle on the open sea.
Celestaire.com has a nice selection, including less reliable but still useable plastic varieties starting at $149. Metal versions begin at $659, but there’s one called the Cheapest Sextant your giftee can build out of laminated cardboard with real mirrors. The site promises the kit “yields a remarkably accurate instrument.”
Make sure you choose one intended for navigation, as opposed to just looking cool, if you’re really worried. Vintage that may be decorative only is available on eBay. Throw in a copy of “Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen,” just like Redford’s character Our Man in the movie, and hope for the best.
Can’t afford luxury, but you can swing luxury trinkets
You and your sensible luggage might be invited occasionally to take a spin in the private jet or helicopter, alongside all that Louis Vuitton stuff, so you should probably take a hint. The luxury French brand has wildly priced gifts but also more doable trinkets and baubles, like the Porte-Adresse Bill Clip at $220 or the Iconic Noe Bag Charm at $375. There’s no getting off the hook in the bargain basement.
See Louisvuitton.com for more ideas, from sunglasses to cufflinks. And keep in mind other luxury brands will always have a token or two to that might amuse your people-who-have-everything without insult.
The $200 haircut requires a chair
Rich people are well groomed. At least, they can afford to be. Dudes who jet set might have already made a stop at the fancy Pankhurst London for a cut and shave, luxuriating in one of the handstitched leather barber chairs done in collaboration with Bentley Motors. Bentley-branded head rests, luxe metal trim and extended arm rests add extra comfort and cool.
Those are unobtainable, unless you spring for a trip to Pankhurst, but Fancy manscaping products, including shaving kits, are everywhere.
For the ladies, who knows! It’s hard to talk the pampered out of their favorite products. Stick with a perfume you know she likes or hunt down a vintage brush and comb set, maybe?
There’s always the Geisha “bird poop” facial for $180 at the Shizuka NY spa in Manhattan. Throw in an eyelash perm. Top lashes only: $90. Add the bottom lashes for an extra $30.