When Hollywood stars land in Toronto for TIFF their daily to-do list consists of media interviews, red carpet appearances, film debuts, cocktail parties and of course swag lounges where they are gifted the fabulous, high-end products that us normal people must pay to have. It’s not easy being an A-lister but when it comes to product place, swag is the gift that keeps on giving…and giving some more. Want an inside peak at the fabulous world of celebrity gifting? We’ve got the scoop on this year’s top swag lounges and the loot they’ve got to gift.
The scoop: Rock-It Promotions was the first to set up a gifting suite at TIFF six years ago and Tastemakers continues to be one of the go-to stops on the celeb swag circuit.
The sightings: Clive Owen, David Schwimmer, Kathleen Robertson.
The loot: A fashion lover’s dream suit, the tables here are heavy with luxe handbags by Jessica Jensen, cosmetics from Joe Fresh Beauty, fold-up flats by Damn Heels (a must for surviving the non-stop party circuit), Nanoblur’s HD-ready skin corrector, plus comfy organic cotton tees by Bamjamz for the plane ride home.
The pampering: Joe Fresh Beauty makeup artists and professional aestheticians from 10 Spot (home of Toronto’s best mani-pedi) are onsite to treat guests to red carpet makeovers and mini-manicures.
The scoop: Located just steps from TIFF headquarters, NKPR’s exclusive IT Lounge (note the bouncer’s outside) is this year’s “it” address for celeb swag.
The sightings: Caitlin Cronenberg, Forest Whitaker, Hayden Christiensen.
The loot: With over 15 brands displayed in this hip loft space, the IT Lounge haul beats the rest in sheer volume—not only is a dedicated Sherpa required, one is provided. Guests are treated to a dizzying array of top-notch swag including apparel from FILA and RW&Co, leather jackets from Esprit, Stila make-up, Ardell lashes, jewelry by Dagmar and a pre-loaded Kobo eReader for those rare quiet moments.
The pampering: Just in time for the red carpet, guests are professionally fitted by an Ardell lash expert for a set of fabulous falsies. Stila makeup artists are also on hand for any emergency touch-ups.
DPA Gift Lounge
The scoop: When it comes to gifting celebs, DPA is one of the industry’s heavy hitters, having set up swag lounges at countless star-studded events around the world, including the Emmys and the Golden Globes. This year they’ve set up at the posh Intercontinental Toronto Centre.
The sightings: Rachel McAdams, Mickey Rourke, Minnie Driver.
The loot: A eclectic mix of big brands and up-and-coming labels, attendees will walk away with jewelry by ANZIE and MICALLA, Manitobah Mukluks, sexy swimwear from Bathing Belle, SwissTEC skincare products, Sula Paint & Peel nail polish and Lomography’s new 360 Spinner camera to capture the sights and sounds of Toronto while they’re in town.
The pampering: DPA has set up a mini-spa where guests will be treated to a luxurious express facial using SwissTEC skincare products. And for a little more prolonged relaxation, also up for grabs are destination travel packages in Tahiti and Dubai.
The “Made in Canada” Lounge
The scoop: Exclusively for celeb guests of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (formerly known as The Hour) the CBC’s “Made in Canada” Lounge is back for a second year and showcases the best that Canada has to gift.
The sightings: Zach Galifianakis, Juliette Lewis, Josh Lucas.
The loot: The parade of stars passing through this lounge will be free to grab whatever they like from a stellar assortment of Canadian treasures like winter coats by Canada Goose, tees from Roots and Hundson’s Bay Company, shoes from Ron White, cosmetics and skincare products from Cake Beauty and Cargo and cocktail dresses by Marika Brose.
The pampering: At this suite, indulgence comes in the form of treats, sweets and nibbles. Celebs are free to feast at the all-Canadian treat table laden with bowls of Coffee Crisp, Kit Kat and Smarties, as well as Lay’s ketchup and dill pickle flavour potato chips. Whoopie pies and other sinful sweets are delivered daily by Bobbette & Belle.
The scoop: When it comes to gifting celebs, Jsquared Public Relations cuts right to the chase by hand delivering their stylish swag bags to top hotels like the Royal York, Hazelton, Soho Met and Windsor Arms during TIFF.
The sightings: Lucky receivers include Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke.
The loot: Highlights from this luxe gift bag include Cargo’s 7 in 7 makeup kit, earrings by Foxy Originals, new fragrances from Coty, emerginC skincare products and a $100 gift certificate to Pure Med Spa.
The pampering: This gift bag is delivered directly to celeb hotel rooms so busy A-listers need not step out of doors to fetch their bag of fabulous freebies. How much more pampered can you get?
Aveda TIFF Survival Kit
The scoop: Just in time to pamper visiting Hollywood Alisters (and harried Yorkville shoppers alike) Aveda has open a posh new Experience Centre right in the heart of film fest action and they’re eager to get in on the gifting game.
The sightings: The cast of Julia’s Eyes, Beautiful Boy (Michael Sheen and Maria Bello) and The Bang Bang Club (Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman).
The loot: In addition to pre-red carpet hair and makeup sessions Aveda is also gifting celebs with its Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother and Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray plus a handy TIFF Survival Kit, which includes to-go sizes of Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate for de-stressing, Peppymint breath freshener, Hand Relief and Lip Saver. If you could use some help surviving TIFF yourself, the kit retails for $39.The pampering: A-list guests are treated to a luxurious hand massage before walking away with their TIFF Survival Kit. The best part is that you don’t have to be a celeb to score the hand massage—it’s de rigueur at Aveda Experience Centres, so stop in and treat yourself.