Each year, the stars sparkle and shine as they sashay down the red carpet for dozens of award shows and events. A well-known but seldom talked about the benefit of attending is the celeb’s access to the event’s gifting suite.
A tacky twist on the time-honored gift bags offered at film festivals, gifting suites are packed with free stuff and the celebs that want them. It’s a win-win, really. Celebrities on the hunt pay for these fancy freebies with what all companies want: Publicity. Not only will vendors happily provide influencers with 100% discount, but they’ll also pay for the privilege. Winners, nominees, performers, and presenters have been known to literally cart their swag away in suitcases. I guess it’s a good thing the Emmy Award's Gift Suite, the CMT’s Gift Suite, and the MTV Award's Gift Suite all push free premiere luggage.
Here are the 10 most expensive gifts from award show swag bags.
10 Lavish vacations
The 91st Academy Awards was a great evening for everyone. Sure, only one talented star wins the coveted Oscars statuette, but every nominee received more than six figures worth of swag, including a luxury cruise for two to Iceland, the Galapagos, the Amazon, or Central America. And this isn’t your everyday vacation. Courtesy of International Expeditions, the cruise of your dreams is complete with spa treatments and private chefs. Depending on where in the world a celeb chooses to cruise, the trip’s value could surpass $20k per person. Is a relaxing vacation more your speed? Have no fear, Distinctive Assets’ lavish Oscar bag includes a one-week stay (priced at $9,000) at the Golden Door Spa. The Emmy Award’s gift bag also includes a stay at the relaxing Viceroy Bali, because TV stars need pampering, too.
9 Upscale Beauty Products
Women’s beauty and health products are a gifting suite staple. This year’s Country Music Television Awards offered everything from salt therapy at Nashville’s Salt and Soles, a vitamin-packed Rally Patch to keep the following day’s hangover with, and Cold Bee Gone, a homeopathic nasal swab to meet all of your allergy and flu needs. This year’s Golden Globes offered gift bags catered to both women and men—and their very photogenic faces. Stuffed in a leather Furla tote bag valued at $450, celebs could find oodles of L’Oréal Paris products and Cote d'Azur Nourishing Hand Crème (which comes with a gold applicator, BTW).
8 Designer Duds
Clothing companies chomp at the bit for an opportunity to distribute their wares. We’re talking best-selling shirts from Saturday Samurai apparel (Grammy Awards), tops from Cinderella's Closet Co. (Teen Choice Awards), and sweatshirts from Happiest Tee (Oscars). Even if they’re not contracted ambassadors, celebs are walking billboards. Branding agency Beanstalk’s cofounder Michael Stone laid out the reasoning behind these fashion freebies, stating “If anyone is caught using a product — just one celebrity, just one t-shirt, they’ve got their money’s worth.” Between all of the special events and their luxe gift suites, Celebs can fill their closets for free in just one award season.
7 Brilliant Baubles
Because of its constant mention on red carpets and rag mags, jewelry designers vie for a gifting suite spot. Vincent Peach Jewelry Designs, a company that caters country queens like Reba and Miranda Lambert, were among the glamorous goodies in the 2019 CMT Awards Gift Bag. The Grammy Awards hooked it up with Rockstar Jewelry's silver amethyst necklaces, blue TAPS for Hope bracelets, and customizable beaded bracelets courtesy of Inspire Me.
6 Deep-Pocket Donations To Worthy Causes
Celebs can even give gifts from the gifting suites. Among the glittery jewelry, lavish vacations, and fancy foods are the opportunity for the stars to donate to charity. This year’s “Everybody wins!” gift bag included the opportunity to donate 10,000 bowls to the animal shelter of their choosing. Similarly, one of the many gifting suites at the 2019 Grammy Awards donated $100 per person to orphans in Myanmar.
An opportunity to help a worthy cause—and likely to assuage the guilt of all these goodies—the gift suites are the gift that keeps on giving.
5 Top-Notch Toys
The 2019 Oscar suite featured Crayola Crayons, the Grammys offered lollipops—obvi ones coated with gold leaf—and basically everything found in the Teen Choice Awards is a toy.
Not that Ryan needs anything. With 20 million followers and one of the highest-earning YouTube stars, the seven-year-old host of Ryan ToysReview lacks for nothing to play with.
4 Upscale Accessories
From the Emmy Awards' jewel encrusted clutch bags to the 2018 Teen Choice Awards’ Elements Watch Company’s minimalist timepieces, designers are desperate for the opportunity to share their accessories. A few examples of the designer duds offered at this year’s various award show suites include Walni’s hats (The Grammy Awards), Love Is Stronger Than Hate tote bags (the Oscars), and the Lug Boxer 2 Overnight Bag (SAG Awards.)
Even furry family members can get decked out with matching designer collars. Sure, one might not need a handmade ZuZu Kim Couture Pet Bow Tie, but the Oscars insist your dog also be treated to designer duds. The Emmy Awards shared wearable Ark Crystals, which claim to have scientific benefits. But then again, don’t all crystal companies say that?
3 Free Plastic Surgery
A few years ago, the Oscar Award’s unofficial gifting suite was all about going under the knife. In 2017, nominees and presenters were offered free Vampire Breast Lifts and up to $5,530 at 740 Park plastic surgery. Easily the most controversial item was the free "O Shot" courtesy of Dr. Lisbeth Roy in the gifting suite of the Oscars in 2017.
Too invasive? Not a problem. This year’s Oscars event offered up to $30,000 in non-surgical rejuvenation treatments courtesy of Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich. The Grammy Awards are playing the same game: This year, the revolutionary ReFa Beauty Roller was given to contenders, presenters, and performers.
2 Cutting Edge Technology
From the world's first silent wearable breast pump by ElviePump to sweat-proof BackBeat FIT 300 earbuds, there are plenty of electronic offerings at major award shows. Even the cutting edge of beauty can be found in gift bags. This year’s Oscars suite included Blush & Whimsy color-changing lipstick based on your unique pH balance and skin temperature. The 2018 Teen Choice Award’s made it even easier for celebs to experience the best in tech by just chilling in the gift suite, where Floating Beds could be found.
1 Top Shelf Booze
Ah, alcohol, making obligatory events tolerable for centuries. The 2019 Oscars touted Premium A. Junod absinthe handcrafted in Pontalier, France, while the CMT gifting suite handed out bottles from Little Big Town’s Four Cellars winery. Rihanna’s Grammy Awards famous flask flash could easily have been filled with the bottle of Southern Wicked Lemonade Moonshine offered at the music awards show's 2017 gifting suite.
Don’t worry, most gifting suites offer water. Turns out, drinking responsibly is one of the great equalizers.
Bottom line? Celebs' fave flavor is just like our's: Free.