The gift bags at the Oscars seem more like Mary Poppins’ purse – unbelievably filled with unexpected items. The gift bags, which will be given to Academy Award nominees at the ceremony on Sunday, is appropriately named the “Everyone Wins” Nominee Gift Bags – because even if you don’t take home an Oscar, you’re taking home a lot of so-called “swag.”
This is not your average gift bag with a candle or some chocolate, although those things are in there, too. Nominees will be gifted a free facial rejuvenation procedure from New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich and a shaman reading from author Jo Bowlby. They’ll also get complimentary project management from Maison Construction and a PETA “Stop Monkey Imports to Labs” travel pillow.
The stars will also get an Italian getaway on an island and a stay at an estate in Canada.
There are many food products in the bag – from popcorn to shokupan, a popular Japanese milk bread – and alcohol, including wine and tequila.
Nominees will also receive fertility supplements and several beauty and wellness products, from a “bath ritual set,” to a silk pillow case to edible massage oil.
The swag bags are put together by marketing company, Distinctive Assets, which has been coordinating these gifts for awards shows like the Grammys and BET Awards since 1999.
Forbes estimates the total cost of this year’s gift bag is about $126,000, but Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, says the value “is neither our focus nor goal.”
“These nominees are in a unique position to help participating brands immeasurably by simply wearing, using and talking about these products,” Fary said. “Marketing and advertising can and must co-exist with the ever-present reporting of bad news globally. This isn’t frivolity; it is basic economics.”
The gifts don’t stop there. This week, stars were invited to a “gifting suite” at the The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, where brands are invited to give out free products, coordinated by Dubois Pelin and Associates, a marketing company that promotes brands at such gifting suites.
In the suite, stars can receive a “magical” facial and beauty products, scarves, jewelry, perfume and sheets. Select stars can receive bone marrow and stem cell injections – a $20,000 value and some will receive a trip to French Polynesia, Iceland or Thailand.
Stars will also also get a brand new pair of sneakers, created by a 14-year-old girl from Brooklyn. Middle schooler Amira-Dior Traynham-Artis started her design company, Lane 1, a few years ago. She began selling shoes online, which caught the attention of a management company and a huge offer.
“They would like you to come out to L.A. and provide this sneaker for celebrities attending the Oscars,” the young designer’s mom, Kenesha Traynham-Cooper, told CBS New York. “I was like, ‘What?'”
To be able to make 75 pairs of shoes in time for the gifting suite, another New York company, Gernie Company, helped Traynham-Artis with the manufacturing.
“For me, no matter what the task is, if I really have my mind set on it, especially when it comes to art, I’m going to do it,” Traynham-Artis said.
The teen is most excited to potentially meet Zendaya, and while she isn’t nominated this year, countless stars will be passing through the suite.
This year’s Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Nominees include: Austin Butler, Michelle Yeoh, Ana de Armas, Angela Bassett, Jamie Lee Curtis and Brendan Fraser for their acting roles and singers like Rihanna and Lady Gaga for their original songs.