By Amira Hashish
It’s that time of year when the last minute dash to find a thoughtful gift kicks in. Trawling through shopping sites with thousands of products sounds about as appealing as department store queues but thankfully a new wave of online marketplaces dedicated to curating pieces that feel truly unique make the shopping experience seamless and joyful.
From rare jewellery items to beautifully crafted homeware or guilt-free fashion finds, these platforms will put a special spin on your present hunt in the festive season and beyond. Each is tightly edited to cut out the time-wasting and tells the story behind its treasures. Let the wishlist commence…
Laura Jackson and Daniel Crow launched this homewares marketplace with the aim of putting the UK’s best homeware brands in the spotlight. They have done a grand job of curating and championing independent makers with an eye for thoughtful design. From soft furnishings to affordably priced art, every piece that makes the cut has been lovingly selected.
Start shopping: glassette.com
Life through a long-term Vogue icon’s lens makes for an impeccable edit on Collagerie. The fashion, accessories, beauty and lifestyle hub is a labour of love by Lucinda Chambers and Serena Hood. As Fashion Director of British Vogue for 25 years, Lucinda has extensive experience directing fashion’s most memorable shoots. Meanwhile, former Executive Fashion Director at British Vogue, Serena has written countless style and fashion edits. Together they have curated a platform that feels fashion forward but attainable.
Pick of the bunch: Jigsaw x Collagerie Liner Coat, £400
Start shopping: collagerie.com
La Romaine Editions
Founded by Parisian fashion buyer Pauline Vincent, La Romaine Editions is the epitome of her quest for simple and spontaneous beauty in everyday life. She recalls the artisans’ workshops visited with her decorator aunt and grandmother, and the museums where she accompanied her curator mother. Browsing her site feels like being given the key to a dreamy home in the French countryside and unlocking all its secrets.
Pick of the bunch: The Flower and Checkboard Cushion, €60
Start shopping: laromaine-editions.com
There is something extra special about finding a storied vintage treasure but how do you know you’re selecting a quality piece? Charlie Porter does the legwork and sources a joyful collection of discoveries for her online jumble shop. With new stock being added to the site frequently you never know what you may stumble upon.
Pick of the bunch: Framed Oil On Board, By Stig Norberg, £188
Start shopping: tat-london.co.uk
Seeking a guilt-free way to invest in a statement fashion piece? Enter Reluxe. Founded by stylist and tastemaker Clare Richardson, who counts Hermes, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein amongst clients and collaborators, this is a destination for fashion resale through an insider’s eye. Working with independent sellers, as well as Relove brands, Reluxe authenticates every item. A great way to do good by the environment whilst sourcing a dream piece.
Pick of the bunch: Black and White Braided Quilted Lambskin Preowned Saddle Flap Bag, £3,300
Start shopping: reluxefashion.com
Shining a light on craftsmanship and design, ABASK is the latest kid on the block for collectible and unique objects with a focus on luxury. From sharing the skills of fourth-generation artisans and contemporary craftspeople to telling the stories behind pieces that are sourced globally, there is a considered approach.
Pick of the bunch: William & Son Snakes and Ladders & Ludo Games Compendium, £1,795
Start shopping: abask.com
Z.d.G (aka Zoë de Givenchy) seeks out the finest European craftsmanship and artisanal techniques with a focus on the dining table. The weavers, potters and painters who are championed share a passion for heritage, family and the preservation of ancient decorative arts. Every item presented on this platform feels like a treat.
Pick of the bunch: Banyan Box Wood Hand Stamped Cutlery, €239,00
Start shopping: zdgofficial.com
A shop window into some of the UK and Europe’s best independent boutiques and brands, Trouva has it all. From baubles and books to clothing and jewellery there really is someone for everyone here…and the best news is you are supporting small businesses.
Pick of the bunch Woodland Journal, £29.99
Start shopping: trouva.com
From furniture to watches and everything in between, 1st Dibs sets the bar high for extraordinary gifts. A worldwide network of trusted sellers, each of whom is thoroughly vetted by in-house experts, guarantees best-in-class items. You can buy directly, negotiate a price or bid on items at auction.
Pick of the bunch: Heart Ruby Signet Ring in 14ct Yellow Gold, £975
Start shopping: 1stdibs.com
The Gift Consultancy
What do you gift the person who has it all? The Gift Consultancy founder Hetty Lintell provides a discreet, bespoke service sourcing the finest presents from her coveted contacts book. Be it an unusual present or an experience like no other, Hetty has you covered. Working via private referral only, gifting needs for the whole year, a one-off or project-by-project can be requested.
Start shopping: thegiftconsultancy.co.uk