What Do Graduates Really Want?

What Do Graduates Really Want?

Our gift selections bring pomp and circumstance to the class of 2021
Our gift selections bring pomp and circumstance to the class of 2021

A s the class of 2021 prepares to take on the world, we talked to our specialists about what would make a perfect gift. From everyday practicalities to objects made to nurture the soul, the gifts we selected are meant to mark the moment and celebrate accomplishment.

“A meaningful gift is the one that lasts a lifetime.”
—Cynthia Houlton, Global Head of Fashion & Accessories

Fashion Gifts
If everything goes as planned, your graduate gift recipient will have many interviews to excel in and test the maxim that first impressions matter. “A Birkin bag is always classic and perfect for all careers. It will complement the grad's evolving career and style in a size big enough to carry essentials but without being too big,” says Cynthia Houlton, Global Head of Fashion & Accessories.

A monochromatic outfit is the easiest way to look sophisticated for a job interview. Adding an Hermès bag is the pièce de résistance. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

“Someone's home should be a reflection of who they are and what they love.”
—Derya Baykal, VP, Specialist and Sales

Home Décor Gifts
For young graduates who are also starting their adult life with a place of their own, it’s never too early to help them out with investment pieces created to make their home a special place.

The Campana Brothers never shy away from complexity. Their Corallo chair (resembling a coral) is formed by weaving stainless steel wire that are bent by hand, a process that determines the uniqueness of each piece with hundreds of welds are cleaned, brushed and then rounded to avoid sharp edges or roughness.

“Looking back, my room in college was so bland that I would have appreciated a statement piece like this in my post-college place. This chair resembles a nest of coral formed by weaving stainless steel wire bent by hand, a process that determines the uniqueness of each piece and completely changes the mood of the room,” says Derya Baykal, VP, Specialist and Sales.

“The perfect gift should be a classic design by a top heritage brand.”
—Kendall Reed, Head of Jewels Marketplace

Jewelry & Watches
A gift with hidden symbolism is the choice for both our watches and jewelry specialists. "The Cartier 'Trinity' bracelet is meant to symbolize 'Fidelity, Friendship and Love,' but I have always thought of it as representing 'Past, Present and Future.' To a graduate, this meaning could be interpreted as celebrating the achievement of getting through college (past), the (present) celebration of graduation and the (future) excitement of life's next chapter," says Kendall Reed, Head of Jewels Marketplace.

Although the younger generation's commitment to smartphones remains stronger than ever, our specialists are delighted to see a new appreciation to wristwatches to tell time (imagine that!).

“A Datejust is a perfect watch for a young person graduating and moving into college or a first job. It can be worn every day and dressed up or down. This example is in stainless steel, which is versatile and durable, ensuring it can be worn forever. A watch is a great gift to mark momentous occasions, and what’s even better is that this watch is from 2003, which means that for a high school graduate of the class of 2021, it’s very likely it’s a birth year watch!” states Ryan Chong, Private Sales Director for Watches.

“A work on paper in the digital age is something precious. I love it.”
—Katherine Reid, VP, Private Sales Strategy

Art Gifts
If you are an art lover, gifting an artwork that is dear to your heart makes the moment special and creates new affectional bonds. Alternatively, helping the young grad to find artists whose work moves them can also be a creative way to cultivate an appreciation for art.

Hergé, Bonjour le monsieur libraire, 1945 Ink and watercolor on paper, Roe Ethridge Picket Fence II, 2017

"This image to me is akin to a kid opening a door, ready to explore the next phase of life, a text bubble awaiting an exclamation of some sort,” says Katherine Reid, VP, Private Sales Strategy. Elizabeth Webb, VP, Specialist Contemporary Art, suggests choosing “A congratulatory gesture of giving a rose – that, in this case, will never die by the genius photographer Roe Ethridge.”

"A designer sneaker is the ultimate gift to pull off the new professional dress code."
Brahm Watcher, Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables

His, Hers, Theirs
It has certainly been a while since the 'casual Friday look' made its way into mainstream. Today's grads questions about what is 'work appropriate' touches on far more relevant topics of gender and self-expression. Tote bags for him, messenger bags for her and sneakers for all seems like as much of a good place to start as any.

The Mocha Air Jordan 1 might not be for work, but its a great gift for weekends out post-grad. The style is perhaps the most classic silhouette, and the color-way makes it wearable with almost every outfit.” says Brahm Wachter, Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables

“You can never go wrong with champagne.”
—Tara Chazen, Web Producer, Wine Retail

Wine & Bar Accessories
“Graduation calls for a celebration, and champagne is a perfect choice. I suggest Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2012. 'La Grande Année' means 'the big year' in English. Only produced in an exceptional year, it’s champagne of great finesse and elegance,” suggests Tara Chazen, Web Producer for Wine Retail.

Arguably the happiest of the spirits, Champagne is the drink of choice for toasts but can also be a star ingredient to endless light cocktails. (Photo by Ambitious Creative Co. - Rick Barrett )

And as with everything else, a fine champagne will taste better in a proper glass. Graduates ready to make the leap from guest to host will appreciate an elegant bar cart filled with all the right accoutrements.

If I were graduating now...

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