What do you get a hipster for Christmas? Pickier and harder-to-impress than the average person, hipsters can sometimes prove the most challenging of all loved ones to gift to. But if you are stumped as to what to get your v-neck wearing, unshaven nephew or that fair-weather Vegan cousin with the purple hair, fear not! I have some suggestions for gifts sure to be a hit among the hipsters this season.
Film Auteur Coasters: Mix and match coasters bearing the faces of an assortment of indie directors, including Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Jonze, Paul Thomas Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, & Jim Jarmusch, among others. Any hipster worth their cinematic salt will want these coasters beneath the towering glasses of oatmeal stout that accompany a communal viewing of Russian Ark. $48-96.
Travel Books Box Set: Hipsters love to travel, and while abroad they love to indulge in all the coolest, most “non-touristy” things. For the inside source, they’ll need to consult resources like the new “Hedonist’s Guide” series of travel books from Tumi. This conveniently packaged collection will help the hostel-going hipster graduate to sophisticating jetset navigation of all the hotspots of Paris, London, New York, Milan, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Tokyo. $125.
Moleskine Notebooks: You can’t go wrong getting a hipster a Moleskin. Whether they use it to take notes, write poetry, doodle, dream, or jot down ideas for blog posts (as I do), you will be sure to put a smile on a hipster’s face with this smart and sleek stocking stuffer (comes in numerous varieties and colors). $10-20.
Shwood Wood-frame Sunglasses: The Oregon-based Shwood truly hit the jackpot with this ingenious variation on the traditional Ray-ban style hipster sunglasses. The wood frame look is wonderfully rustic and original, and for about $100 you can get a hipster something that will make them legitimately stand out! $95-115.
Elitist Coffee: Nothing spells hipster like C-O-F-F-E-E. Especially when it’s super elite, expensive and/or part of the so-called “Third Wave” of American coffee. Two of the biggest names in the new frontier of high-quality coffee are Portland’s Stumptown and Chicago/L.A.’s Intelligentsia. Both brands of coffee can be bought online, and I highly recommend it!
Cigarette Carton Shaped Books: Most hipsters really love reading books (or at least the idea of it), and most of them love cigarettes. Tank Books recently combined the two ideas with a brilliantly conceived series of books designed to mimic cigarette packs – the same size, packaged in flip-top cartons with silver foil wrapping and sealed in cellophane. Buy them individually or as part of the full set in a tin box, which includes books by Conrad, Hemingway, Kafka, Tolstoy, Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson… All authors who loved their cigs. $15-70.
Freitag Messenger Bags: Are messenger bags still cool? They are when made by the Swiss out of recycled truck tarpaulins, unravelled seat belts, bicycle inner tubes beyond repair, and recycled airbags. These durable, entirely recycled bags are all different—each containing unique colors, markings and contours. You’ll be the only kid on the block with this bookbag. What more could a hipster ask for? $195.
Kiva Microfinance: In the charitable spirit of Christmas, why not give a microfinance loan as a “gift” in the name of the hipsters in your life? In all seriousness, Kiva is a cool person-to-person microlending website where you can lend money–with friends or just yourself–to entrepreneurs around the world who are trying to just get by. A product of the peer-to-peer social networking age, Kiva puts a personal, interactive face to the fight against world poverty. You can give Kiva gift certificates ($25-$5,000) to friends who can then lend the funds from the certificate to the entrepreneurs of their choice.
Fuji Instax Camera: In the wake of the death of Polaroid (alive now only via the ebays of the world), Fuji has stepped up with what might be the next generation of instant photography, something every true hipster can’t live without. This quaint little point-and-shoot is a perfect addition to the analog collection of all those anti-digital luddite artisan hipsters out there. $100.
Build Your Own Bamboo Bicycle: The Brookyln-based Bamboo Bike Studio was founded “to harness the possibility and promise of self-propulsion, reaching out from New York City to developing nations around the world, beginning with Ghana and Kenya in Africa.” Whatever that means… Not that it matters. With weekend-long workshops (“walk in Saturday, ride out Sunday”), you can build an awesome bike out of bamboo! It’s the best present you could possibly give a hipster: simple, hand-made, vaguely Third World, somehow related to the “ongoing climate and energy crisis.” $1250.