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East West Lifestyle

Agnes Lew’s A-List: The Perfect Gifts for the Holidays 2021

November 22, 2021

After a turbulent 2020, people are ready to spread a little holiday cheer, believes Agnes Lew, head of Private Banking at East West Bank. As the Bank’s resident foodie and art aficionado, Lew has a recommendation for everything, whether it’s contemporary art, the hottest new restaurants, or the best places to shop.

“It’s been a tough year and a half for everyone,” says Lew. “Now that the world is starting to reopen, I think people are looking forward to getting out and treating themselves a little.”

To help with your holiday shopping this year, here is what’s new on Agnes Lew’s A-List.

 Agnes Lew, East West Bank’s senior vice president and director of private banking

About Agnes Lew

Agnes Lew, East West Bank's senior vice president and director of private banking, leads a team of financial advisors that provide financial and investment advice, ranging from retirement to estate planning.

More about Agnes

“Wonderland” by Annie Leibovitz: A coffee table book for all fashionistas

What’s better than a coffee table book that doubles as a beautiful display piece and offers insights into one of the 21st century’s most celebrated artists?

This fall, Phaidon released “Wonderland,” the first book to feature world-renowned photographer and Library of Congress Living Legend Annie Leibovitz’s “encounters with fashion.” The book features more than 340 photographs—including 30 that have never before been published—and spans Leibovitz’s entire career, from her start at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s, to her present day work. “Wonderland” showcases some of Leibovitz’s most ambitious fashion shoots with a notable and diverse range of icons such as late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, to tennis star Serena Williams, to political and cultural figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Lady Gaga.

“Annie Leibovitz is one of the most iconic and influential photographers of our time,” states Lew. “This would make a great gift for anyone who loves art and fashion. East West Bank is so honored to have Annie as a friend.”

Check out “Wonderland” at Phaidon.

(Left): Photographer Annie Leibovitz. (Right): “Wonderland” by Annie Leibovitz

Rosewood Hotels: Give the gift (card) of travel

Now that countries are reopening their borders and travel restrictions are loosening, now is the time to start thinking about your next trip, whether that’s overseas or the just next county over.

“The Rosewood Hotels are some of my favorite places to stay,” says Lew. “They’re elegant, luxurious, and classic—the perfect place for a weekend getaway, or an extended vacation. Why not give your friends and loved ones—or yourself—a Rosewood gift card?”

With dozens of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts around the world and more opening in the future, you’ll have your choice of where you want to go—and stay. Since the gift cards don’t expire, you can book your next trip any time you like.

Lew recommends the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California. “It’s so peaceful and the perfect getaway from LA,” she adds. “I love having a drink at the Miramar Beach Bar, with the ocean view on one side and watching the trains go by on the other.”

Go to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to plan your next trip.

Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California

Hästens Sleep Spa: The Birkin bag of beds

A mattress might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of holiday gifts, but the gift of a good night’s sleep is absolutely priceless, believes Lew.

“Hästens is more than just a luxury bed,” says Lew. “They’ve completely reinvented how we should think about our sleep.”

Hästens does more than just sell mattresses; they offer a full service to their clients that involves calibrating each person’s body to the different tensions and the different mattress models. Working with one of the world’s leading sleep doctors, the team at Hästens makes sure your body is properly aligned in the optimal sleep position. Twice a year, they even send one of their “bed doctors” to help maintain your mattress and make sure you maintain optimal sleep.

To experience one of their mattresses yourself, go to Sleep Spa by Hästens to find the nearest location, or contact them below if you have any questions.

Astrid Gierow, Director of sales at Hastens Sleep Spa NYC.

Hästens 2000T mattress, one of their most popular models

Zenni x Iris Apfel: A sight for sore eyes

Sometimes the perfect accessory to offset a great outfit is a statement pair of eyeglasses. “Zenni Optical’s collaboration with fashion icon Iris Apfel would make great gifts for fashion aficionados,” says Lew. “They’re stylish, unique, and—best of all—very affordable.”

The Iris Apfel Zentennial Collection, which was created in celebration of Apfel’s 100th birthday this summer, features some of Apfel’s signature oversized round frames, as well as statement-making bedazzled cat-eyes, colorful square frames, and more. All glasses can be customized with prescription or non-prescription lenses, which includes blue-light-blocking ones, readers, or sunglasses.

The collaboration also includes a holiday capsule, which include three new eyewear styles and chains for your glasses—“In case your accessories need accessories,” laughs Lew.

Check out the full collection at Zenni x Iris Apfel.

Iris Apfel wearing the Zenni x Iris Zentennial Collection

Gemini G.E.L.: Unique prints for your home

As East West Bank’s resident art aficionado, Lew can’t recommend the artist prints from Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L. enough. Founded in 1966, Gemini has collaborated with numerous notable artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Ellsworth Kelly over the decades to create exclusive and limited prints from the Gemini studio.

“Gemini has been around for decades and has truly been pioneers in the art world,” states Lew. “They’ve attracted artists from around the world to work and collaborate with.”

Some personal favorites of Lew’s are the Roy Lichtenstein and John Baldessari prints, such as “Karl Lagerfeld” and “Painting on Blue and Yellow Wall,” by Baldessari and Lichtenstein, respectively.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget to buy all the paintings I want,” jokes Lew. “So buying prints is a great way to add to my art collection, or for you to start your own.”

Prints are limited—please check out Gemini G.E.L. to view what is available.

(Left): “Karl Lagerfeld” by John Baldessari. (Right): “Painting on Blue and Yellow Wall” by Roy Lichtenstein

Le Mieux Cosmetics: A holiday glow that lasts all year long

Want that perfect, glowing skin for the holidays and beyond? Look no further than Le Mieux Cosmetics’ line of plumping, hydrating skincare, says Lew. Founded by Janel Luu in 2004, Le Mieux (which means “the best” in French) initially started out as a professional esthetician line that has since expanded to consumer markets with their range of innovative, anti-aging skincare products.

“I love the Ionized Oxygen Infuser—the oxygen spray system is really unique,” Lew adds. “It sprays oxygenated nutrients in an ultra-fine mist directly to your skin, and immediately makes my skin look dewy and healthy.”

To achieve the best results, Luu suggests pairing the Ionized Oxygen Infuser with Le Mieux’s Oh My Glow Activator and Serum, which she says contains 10 forms of hyaluronic acid, collagen-boosting peptides, and even diamond dust.

Go to Le Mieux Cosmetics to check out the oxygen spray system and more.

Le Mieux Cosmetics Ionized Oxygen Infuser and the Oh My Glow Activator and Serum

A-Z West Works: Ceramics for those who want style and function

A-Z West Works is the brainchild of artist Andrea Zittel, who creates functional, handmade objects such as ceramics and textiles at her studio in Joshua Tree, California. These objects are sold in support of her artwork A-Z West, which is located on over 80 acres next to Joshua Tree National Park and “serves as a testing ground for living.” Like many of Zittel’s paintings and sculptures, A-Z West examines themes of what it means to live and participate in society today.

Zittel’s ceramics, which she calls “containers,” come in individuals or in a set. “I am a huge fan of Andrea’s ceramics,” says Lew. “They’re perfect for dinner parties! Last Christmas, I spent the whole day preparing a meal from Bestia using Andrea’s ceramics.”

Check out A-Z West Works here.

A-Z West Works ceramic “containers”

“My Neighbor Totoro” side chair: The perfect movie memorabilia

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures recently opened to much fanfare, and the museum store also lives up to the hype. “Am I the only one who spends more time in the museum gift shops than I do in the museum itself?” laughs Lew.

Along with books, clothing, and prints of famous movie posters, the Academy Museum Store also has some unique and exclusive items like the side chairs made in collaboration with Studio Ghibli and Modernica Furniture.

“These limited edition chairs feature the artwork of the great Hayao Miyazaki and are limited to 100 each,” says Lew. “They’re handmade by individual artisans and would make a great gift for the Studio Ghibli fan in your life! My personal favorite is the Totoro one.”

Go to the Academy Museum Store to see what else is available.

Exclusive Studio Ghibli chairs created in collaboration with The Academy Museum

Stella Jean x Michael Armitage: Artsy sweaters for all kinds of weather

ArtColLab is the initiative from Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy, that supports young Italian and foreign contemporary artists. The foundation was started by Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, who is one of the most influential women in the contemporary art world. ArtColLab brings together artists and designers to create visual arts-inspired capsule collections that are sold in support of the foundation’s mission.

“My dear friend Eugenio’s mother, Patrizia, is the Peggy Guggenheim of Italy,” says Lew. “That love for art runs in the family, as her son and my dear friend Eugenio also has his own digital art platform, Artuner.”

In their second collaboration, ArtColLab brought together Italian fashion designer Stella Jean and artist Michael Armitage to create two limited edition sweaters that feature bold, swirling designs adapted from Armitage’s own artworks. Their first collaboration partnered British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood with Canadian artist Paul Kneale to create three exclusive shoe designs.

Although these collaborations are exclusive, Lew says to keep an eye out for future collaborations. “These collaborations are the perfect intersection of wearable art,” says Lew. “They’re great for anyone who wants something bold, eye-catching, and that supports up-and-coming artists!”

Please email with any inquiries.

Sweaters from the Stella Jean x Michael Armitage ArtColLab collaboration. (Photo credit): Artuner

CLOT x Sacai: Don’t forget your furry friends

The holidays wouldn’t be complete if man’s furry friends didn’t also get a little something—like this sleek black pet-friendly bowl from CLOT x Sacai.

“Our pets are there through thick and thin—they deserve a holiday treat, too!” laughs Lew. “Plus, these are clean and subtle in design, so they’ll look nice almost anywhere.”

CLOT is the house label of streetwear-focused store Juice, which has locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Los Angeles, among others. In addition to the pet bowls, the CLOT x Sacai collaboration also features a range of lifestyle and ready-to-wear products, from coats to sake sets.

Go to CLOT x Sacai to check out the collection.

CLOT x Sacai pet bowl. (Photo credit): Juice Store