Los Angeles

$126,000 Oscars swag bag includes vacation to Italy


LOS ANGELES — Win or lose, 26 Oscar nominees will leave Sunday’s awards show with quite the swag bag.

Los Angeles-based Distinctive Assets, an entertainment marketing company, is tasked with creating the legendary “Everyone Wins” Nominee Gift Bag.

“I don’t overthink it,” says Lash Fary, the founder and president of Distinctive Assets. “I don’t wonder, ‘Is Cate Blanchett really going to want X, Y and Z?’ I just kind of think: ‘Would I like it and would I give it as a gift?'”

Fary has been busy assembling six-figure gift bags for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He loves sharing his own favorites, like skincare, with celebrity friends like Angela Bassett, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’

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The stars will find some big splurges in this swag bag, like an Italian vacation on the island of Ischia.

“You know, everyone wants to go on an Italian vacation now because of ‘The White Lotus,'” Fary laughs. “This is a lighthouse converted into a luxury hotel.”

There’s also a plot of land in Australia.

Fary is often asked: “Why spoil some of the world’s most elite?”

“That’s not the point,” Fary says. “The point is that we are introducing them to things that maybe they wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. You know, last time Viola Davis was nominated she got a Hawaii vacation from us. She was in Hawaii and she didn’t like where they were. She contacted our office saying, ‘We got a gift certificate. Can you hook us up with the place you gave us the gift to?'”

The bag is stashed with many of Fary’s favorite things. This year, his “absolute favorite” is a gilded box of dates from a company called Bateel.

Complete coverage of the 2023 Oscars!

Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File

“They have done for dates what Godiva did for chocolate,” Fary says.

There are chocolates in the swag bag too with a video message inside the box.

“When the nominees open their box from m cacao chocolates, there’s going to be a clip from the movie that they were nominated for,” said Fary.

This is not a gift bag, Fary says. This is more like a gift trunk.

It’s three suitcases,” he says. “They will get wheeled up to their doors.”

Fary also gets to decide which stars get them. This year, it’s nominees in the top five categories, a total of 26 people. Each swag bag is worth $126,000.


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