Originals

Okayplayer’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Black Designers, Culture, Tech & More

This year our holiday gift guide includes pieces by Theophilio, Fear of God, Hanifa, Bephie’s Beauty Supply, T.A., Char Workroom, and more.

Believe it or not, this year’s holiday season is almost back to normal. Dinners with family members and close friends are pretty much in full swing too. Since socially distant gatherings and virtual gift-giving are no longer the norms, handing off gifts in-person might be on the horizon for you soon. All year long, we keep tabs on things so you don’t have to: this year’s gift guide is a master list of the most unique items worth picking up for your best friends, your partner, or a close family member. 

If things are tight this year, don’t worry, though there are a few selects that are a bit pricey, there are others that are moderately priced but just as special. Options this time around span the following categories: culture, music, books, art, streetwear, and more. 

For Someone Who Deserves Something Nice Yet Affordable

KNC Beauty, Leaf-Eye Mask 5-Pack, Available at KNC Beauty for $25 USD

 

yasaf, lit “Inception” Candle, Available at yasaf, lit for $45 USD

 

SPIKE By Spike Lee, Available at Chronicle Books for $50 USD

 

My Beautiful Black Hair By St. Clair Detrick-Jules, Available at Chronicle Books for $24.95 USD

 

Kara Hinson, “Aura,” Available at Kara Hinson from $20 USD

THE BEST PICKS: If you’re playing Secret Santa or just want to grab a thoughtful and affordable gift for someone, we’ve got you. For that friend who is really into cult beauty products look to KNC Beauty’s Leaf-Eye Mask. This item is packed with high doses of Vitamin E and its key ingredients are cactus extract, cucumber, and green tea leaf. yasaf, lit’s “Inception” candle features the scents of palo santo and sage. If self-care picks simply won’t do, pick up either Spike Lee’s new book SPIKE or My Beautiful Black Hair written by St. Clair Detrick-Jules. Kara Hinson’s “Aura” print is a piece begging to be a conversation starter in an apartment. 

For The Cultured Friend

Guru’s Jazzmatazz at SOB’s Concert Poster, Available at Okayshop for $20 USD

Theophilio Crystal Logo Brothers Tee, Available at Black Fashion Fair for $150 USD

 

T.A. x Yowie Collaborative Art Sculpture, Available at T.A. for $60 USD

 

Bephie’s Beauty Supply x LOT XI The Experience Box Set, Available at Nordstrom for $83 USD

J Dilla “Welcome To Detroit” 20th Anniversary Box 12×7 Set, Available at Okayshop for $134.99 USD

THE BEST PICKS: Your cultured friend is the one that’s always hitting the group chat with the best museum exhibits to check out, or is always somehow going to sold-out concerts. Edvin Thompson the designer behind Theophilio had a breakout year in 2021. Pick up the brand’s Crystal Logo Brothers Tee quickly as it might not restock. T.A. x Yowie’s Collaborative Art Sculpture is an eclectic selection that’ll last for years to come. Bephie’s Beauty Supply x LOT XI The Experience Box Set is perfect for that person who wants a taste of self-care without a heavy lift. The set comes with palo santo sticks, a travel-size candle, lavender soap, and a bath tea created with a blend of dried calendula flowers, epsom salt, cornflower petals, spearmint mint, and more. 

For Your Friend In The Group Chat With The Best Style

Sneakersntuff Sherpa Sweatshirt, Available at Sneakersntuff for $89 USD

 

New Balance 991, Available at Sneakersntuff for $265 USD

 

Nike Women’s ACG Mountain Fly Gore-Tex, Available at Sneakersntuff for $219 USD

 

Fear of God Baseball Tee, Available at Nordstrom for $295 USD

 

Mifland, Reversible Bucket Hat, Available at Mifland for $54 USD

THE BEST PICKS: Are you the best-dressed person in your friend group? If not, we decided to add an entire section for that friend. One option we think this individual would be impressed with is Fear of God’s Baseball Tee, it’s a clean shirt that can be added to anyone’s cold weather lineup. Next up is Sneakersnstuff’s cozy and tonal Sherpa Sweatshirt, while you’re at it New Balance’s 991 in a lush winter-ready colorway is ideal for gifting. Alternatively, Nike’s ACG Mountain Fly Gore-Tex is an attention-grabbing sneaker perfect for activities or just everyday wear. 

For Your Girlfriend With Expensive Taste

Ciriaco, Large Ashley Baguette in “Forest Green,” Available at Ciriaco for $275 USD

 

Char Workroom High-Cut Cheeky Short in “Rose,” Available at Char Workroom for $160 USD

Schutz Maryana Pointed Toe Boot, Available at Nordstrom for $238 USD

 

Only Made, Toni Earring, Available at Only Made for $35 USD

 

Hanifa Lyra Bodysuit, Available at Hanifa for $189 USD

THE BEST PICKS: Your girlfriend might have such good taste that she only accepts super-specific gifts. Whether she’s into buzzy brands or lesser-known lines, we highly recommend Ciriaco’s Large Ashley Baguette in Hunter Green named after the designer. This handbag is leather, it’s also handmade and features a unique shape that’s been approved by countless editors this year. Char Workroom’s High-Cut Cheeky Short in “Rose” is a pick designed by Houston’s Tacharra Perry. The metallic shorts are eclectic and feature an invisible zipper in addition to the satin lining. Only Made’s Toni Earring is the earpiece of your girlfriend’s dreams. Rayne Schloss, a rising jewelry designer created the piece with freshwater pearls in floral and diamond shapes.  

For Your Favorite Guy Who Never Asks For Anything

Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop & Rap, 9 CD & Box Set, Available at Okayshop for $159 USD

 

Carhartt Work Tote, Available at Sneakersnstuff for $119 USD

 

Bloomfield Works, Dance Tee in “Black,” Available at Bloomfield Works for $48 USD

 

Bricks and Wood, Pencil Holder/Coffee Mug, Available at Bricks & Wood for $38 USD

 

Tier Hoodie in “Iced Mango,” Available at Tier for $150 USD

THE BEST PICKS: Holiday gifting for your partner, husband, or significant other just got easier with our stylish selections. Our first recommendation is Bloomfield Works’ Dance Tee in “Black.” This piece with a splashy graphic can be worn around the house or for a night on the town. Bricks and Wood’s Pencil Holder/Coffee Mug is a ceramic gift that’s multi-use and it’s emblazoned with the brand’s logo. Tier’s Hoodie in “Iced Mango” is a part of the streetwear brand’s latest collection, it’s also equipped with their logo. We’d also suggest Carhartt’s Work Tote, it’s a basic piece that can be used each day for work. 

For That Friend That’s Really Into Merch


A Tribe Called Quest Lyrical World Champions T-Shirt, Available at Okayshop for $35 USD

Amine 2.5 Airbrush Hoodie in “Yellow,” Available at Amine’s Official Shop for $90 USD

Erick The Architect Incendium Action Figure, Pre-Order Available at Incendium for $29.95 USD

 

BIA Limited Edition For Certain Cassette/Rolling Tray Box, Available at BIA’s Official Shop for $34.98 USD

Phabo Soulquarius Bucket Hat, Available at Soulection Supply for $45 USD

THE BEST PICKS: We all have that friend that cops merch from festivals, concerts, and online when their favorite artist announces a drop. Incendium’s Erick The Architect Action Figure is an offering your friends and family won’t ever forget. It’s a miniature figure of the talented producer/rapper. BIA recently dropped a Limited Edition For Certain Cassette/Rolling Tray Box. This pick features an actual cassette of her debut album in addition to a well-crafted rolling tray. Phabo’s first project is one of the best releases of the year, in honor of this Soulection released the Soulquarius Bucket Hat. Pick up Aminé’s 2.5 Airbrush Hoodie in “Yellow” before it’s out of stock; this hoodie is splashed with a funky graphic from the Portland-bred artist’s latest release. 

For That Special Person Who Loves Tech

Anker PowerWave Fast Wireless Charger Stand, Available at Anker for $40 USD

 

Marshall Emberton Portable Bluetooth Speaker in “Black & Brass,” Available at Marshall for $169 USD

Kanye West Donda Stem Player, Available at Kanye West’s Official Site for $200 USD

 

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Gen Earphone in “Grey Mist,” Available at Bang & Olufsen for $249.99 USD

 

Call of Duty Vanguard, Available at Best Buy for $69.99 USD

THE BEST PICKS: The tech-obsessed are typically living at least a year ahead of the present. They’re the ones who love a good pair of headphones or would actually appreciate a special tech piece. First up we’re really into Anker’s PowerWave Fast Wireless Charger Stand. It’s case-friendly, has temperature control, and has twin charging coils. Kanye West’s Stem Player allows skilled producers and beginners to isolate vocals, beats, and more. Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E8 3rd Gen Earphone is another supreme pick we figure any tech lover would enjoy.

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Banner Graphic: @popephoenix for Okayplayer

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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