Fashion: 14 classic gifts updated just in time for Valentine’s Day

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 13, 2019.
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DOWN with love? Only about half of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, according to data from the National Retail Federation. (It was 60% 10 years ago.) But, in a twist, the organisation expects more than US$20 billion (RM81.6 billion) worth of gifts to be purchased this year, as the ones who do celebrate the holiday are spending more.

Even those who say they are not officially “celebrating” plan to do something, and this is doubly true for millennials. More than a third of those under the age of 35 who are opting out of the day’s romantic agenda say they still have plans to buy something special for themselves.

In that case, consider one of these 14 gifts that fall under the category of “old dogs, new tricks.” They’re all classics, so you know they will stand the test of time whether you are buying for a significant other or just looking for a reason to celebrate yourself.  But they’ve also been tweaked just enough — a new colour, different size, exotic material — to appeal to a new generation that may have different ideas about how to say I love you. — Bloomberg


The first pair of Manolo Hangisi heels were custom-made by Manolo Blahnik for the glass-slipper plot twist in the original Sex and the City film. Previously available only in signature satin blue, they are now being offered in a capsule collection of various colours. US$1,025 (RM4,182); available at Saks Fifth Avenue.


The newly debuted Eternity Flame Calvin Klein for Men fragrance is the latest iteration of the classic scent. US$82 (RM335) for 3.4 fl oz.; available on Meanwhile, the limited edition 10-year anniversary Byredo Unnamed fragrance was just re-released due to popular demand. US$250 for 100ml; available online


For the first time, jewellery designer Selim Mouzannar’s enamel rings are offered in these pastel-hued colours. It is a new addition to the brand’s usually pared-down offerings in black and white. Ring in pink gold in light blue enamel (US$3,700 [RM15,096]), dark blue enamel (US$12,500) and light pink enamel (US$5,060), set with diamonds;


Cartier’s new iteration of its Santos de Cartier watches, first introduced in 1911, is available in 18-carat yellow gold with interchangeable steel and leather straps. US$33,300 (RM135,864); available at Cartier boutiques nationwide, or call 800-227-8437


The classic, all-diamond Harry Winston Cluster earrings are being offered in new colours for the first time: sapphire, emerald, and ruby. Price on request; call 800-988-4110 or visit Harry Winston for additional information


Cufflinks from David Yurman have previously used exotic materials such as from meteorites. These are from its Forged Carbon Collection and feature the innovative material that has been used in sports cars, golf clubs, and speedboats. Here, carbon nanotubes and resin are compressed under heat and pressure, creating a state-of-the-art composite that is 3.5 times stronger than steel but 65% lighter. US$595 (RM2,428); available online

This new addition to the Tiffany T True collection riffs on the design of the brand’s popular cuffs and suggests a subtler approach to its prominent “T” design. These Tiffany T True bracelets are available in 18-carat gold and 18-carat rose gold. US$4,800; available online


The original Leaf ring was one of the first designs Anita Ko created when she started her jewellery company in 2006; it quickly became one of her most popular pieces. She has since updated it with the Palm Leaf Ring in 18-carat yellow gold with 2.6 carats of baguettes. US$11,550 (RM47,124); available online

Jewellery designer Irene Neuwirth’s heart pendants have always been popular, but this flat gold heart necklace in 18-carat gold is the first time it is being offered in an extra-large, 16-inch version. US$7,370; available online


Virgil Abloh’s new take on the classic Louis Vuitton Satellite Keepall Bandouliere is offered in all-white, silver, and clear versions. Act fast, though: His luggage designs for Supreme and Rimowa sold out immediately. From US$2,390; available at select Louis Vuitton stores, or call 866-884-8866

If you (or your significant other) has been craving a Kelly bag, Hermès has released a new version, the Mini “Kelly” Picnic bag that comes in wicker. Only a few are available, and all are guaranteed to achieve cult-favourite status. US$13,900 (RM56,712); available at Hermès stores nationwide, or call 800-441-4488 for additional information

This Chanel handbag, from its spring/summer 2019 collection, takes the best parts of the classic flap bag and gives it all a dose of glamour with a strap made using oversize pearls. US$4,900; available at select Chanel boutiques nationwide, or call 800-550-0005 for additional information   

Loewe is offering some of its best-selling Gate bags in miniature size for the first time this season. US$1,290; available at Loewe Miami Design District as well as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, By George, Mitchells, Forty Five Ten, Forward by EW, Kirna Zabete, Mameg, Moda Operandi, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Webster.