A Peek Inside the $200K Oscars Gift Bags with Curator Lash Fary

Photo: Jarone Ashkenazi
Oscar Bag

The Oscars swag bags include VIP trips, hotel stays, $275 toilet paper and more

Distinctive Assets is an LA-based marketing company that offers products to celebrities as promotion and is in its 14th year creating the ‘Oscars Gift Bag’. Lash Fary, Founder of Distinctive Assets, has been providing the swag to Oscar winners and hopefuls and is promoting its gifts with slogans such as “Everyone Wins at the Oscars!.”

Although not everyone will leave the Oscars with a shiny trophy, they will be leaving with a gift bag with a record $200,000 worth of swag. As the company’s press release announces, the bag this year is “once again a blend of fabulous, fun and functional items meant to thrill and pamper those who may have everything money can buy but still savor the simple joy of a gift.”

The gift bag includes luxurious gifts like VIP trips to Japan and Israel; hotel stays at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy, Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como and Golden Door Resort & Spa in San Marcos, CA; and a lifetime supply of PuRerh Tea Nourishing Cream and PuRerh Tea Cleansing Bar. Some of the ‘less expensive’ items include a Vampire Breast Lift procedure and Ultherapy treatment, $275 toilet paper and a personalized dispenser from JOSEPH’S Toiletries and an electric bicycle from ProdecoTech. Some of the everyday items include a collaborative video montage from Tribute, a metal front pocket wallet from Zekkle and chic plates from Slimware.

To get an in-depth look at the swag bag, Fary was kind enough to give me an inside scoop...

How did Distinctive Assets get involved with the Oscars Gift bag?

This is our 14th Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bag. While it has no affiliation whatsoever with the Academy, the concept was to come up with a fun way to pay tribute to the year’s top nominees while simultaneously serving as a consolation gift in the wake of disappointment if they didn’t take home Oscar gold.

How do you choose what to include and what not to include?

We look for items that are fun, functional or fabulous. We try not to be judgmental as the recipients are quite diverse. Our philosophy is more is more...we love the idea that they keep and use what they like and get to re-gift and share with friends and loved ones as well. And of course, we simply make things available to them.

When did you realize ok at over $200,000 worth of goodies, that's enough?

The price tag is actually never my goal, it is truly just a result of adding so many high-value vacation options in recent years. I think that a $25,000 gift bag is enough and could be just as fun as a $200,000 as long as the product selection is interesting. I personally find that folks focus too much on the ‘full potential value’ of the bag, but for me, it’s the ‘little things’. Whether in life or in a gift bag those little things like amazing skincare, stuff for pets, a fun t-shirt to wear to the gym, maple syrup for your kids pancakes are what count

Do you stick to certain gift verticals?

It works out that there are just organic product verticals, and we like to hit as many as possible since gift diversity is part of our goal.

Did you add something new this year versus previous years?

We always have new items every year. This year at least half the bag represents new products: MY M&M’s, 9-course tasting menu from 15-year-old chef Kai Kani, Lizora skincare, Caolion pore care gift sets, Farm Wife Style, Dandi Patch, DELOVERY, ExploreIsrael.com, Greenhill Vineyards, Joseph’s Toiletries and many more.

What are the top celeb favorite gifts?

That completely varies by celebrity. Probably the most redeemed item has been the Halo Purely for Pets shelter donation (10,000 meals to a shelter of the nominee’s choice). Over the past couple years, Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Rosamund Pike, June Squib, Barkhad Abdi and Ethan Hawke all helped Halo feed it forward.

What are your favorite gifts?

I’m obsessed with the Hydroxycut Gummies and ironically, I also love the Chocolatines Drunken Fig Cake!

What are a few gifts 'normal' people can purchase from the gift bag to feel like celebs?

Celebs are just like everyone else in many ways . . . some of the most affordable ways to live like a star include: Chapstick Total Hydration, Mission1 Clean Protein Bars and the Dandi Patch.

Your tagline is ‘Everyone Wins’ why is that important on this special night?

The ‘Everyone Wins' concept is important because these incredibly talented nominees gave inspired performances and have given us all countless hours of entertainment. Even when you are rich and famous, you are still bummed when you don’t win a big award, so our hope has always been that our gifts provide a fun distraction for them.