CeeLo Green says new album, ‘Heart Blanche,’ is a ‘prequel’ to catalogue of new music
November 5, 2015
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confident in WNBA, plans to be more involved
November 5, 2015

Elvis cake, keepsake book and ultimate selfie helper phone case among Oprah’s Favorite Things

By Leanne Italie



NEW YORK _ A Kardashian-worthy phone case rimmed with tiny lights, a keepsake book of “Letters to My Love” and a banana, peanut butter and chocolate cake called the Elvis are among Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2015.

This year’s list, which guarantees companies a bump in sales, includes 87 items, from a doggie faux fur jacket from Park Avenue and little-kid animal boots made by Emu to an elegant box of cut flowers courtesy of High Camp and Oprah’s favourite drawstring, tapered sweatpants (she owns three pairs of these, called the Vince from Melange).

While declaring the sugary Elvis namesake from Carousel Cakes “stupid good,” she also put the traditional holiday yule log on notice by including a deep-dish cherry pie made by a California bakery, Sweet Lady Jane. And lest we forget about Hanukkah, there’s a flat challah in the shape of a menorah, courtesy of Eli Zabar in New York.

The List, as loyal Oprah watchers call it, was revealed Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” It was previewed for an intimate group of media and business partners the day before high atop Manhattan’s Hearst Tower, home of “O, The Oprah Magazine.” Before she gave up her talk show, Oprah revealed her picks on TV and in print. Now, the December issue of the magazine carries on the holiday tradition she established more than 20 years ago.

What else made the cut this year? The multicultural line of Fashionista Barbies (of which Oprah declares: ‘I love chocolate Barbie!’) and roomy sweatshirts in soft pink, yellow and blue that pay homage to her favourite day of the week with the slogan, “I Love Sundays.”

But for the queen and her right-hand elves, pal Gayle King and the magazine’s creative director, Adam Glassman, the holidays begin the summer before, when Glassman scouts prospects at gift shows and markets around the country. He and King vet as they cull and chat with Oprah via Skype to narrow the picks.

“We try everything and gain weight doing that,” laughed Glassman at Wednesday’s preview. “We smell everything. We try everything on. And then we do a big summit in August, where we rent out a studio and we spend two days going through probably about 500 items.”

This year, they’re trying something new, sourcing stocking stuffers and bigger gifts at a variety of price points on Amazon.

“We really choose the products based on relevancy,” Glassman explained. “Will people like it? Will it bring joy and passion to their life? And it’s really about things that Oprah wants to give. That’s number one. But then, companies are really made by being on Oprah’s Favorite Things.”

The latter, he said, has led to a little chat between Oprah’s camp and the vendors picked about supply and demand.

“Once a company makes the list we have to explain to them about inventory. How much do they need? They need to make a lot. Some people get it and some people don’t fully understand it until maybe it’s a little too late,” Glassman said. “And there are times when people call me and go, ‘I wish I had 3,000 more, we sold out.”

With the convenience of Amazon, he added, “I suspect before Christmas we will sell out of a lot of stuff.”

Highlights from Oprah’s famous list:


Letters to My Love from Chronicle Books: Glassman says these cute little keepsake books are Oprah’s “fave, fave, fave” things on her list of things. They’re books of 12 fold-and-mail style letters with prompts for filling in the blanks, such as “I knew you were the one for me when …”

The Bruffin: a stuffed brioche, muffin and croissant hybrid themed to countries in a variety of savory flavours. The British has bacon and sharp cheddar, the Italian pepperoni, pesto and Parmesan, and the American Buffalo chicken, blue cheese and hot sauce. They’re made in New York by a company of the same name.

Torres Black Truffle Chips: Oprah loves her truffle flavours. These are supercrunchy and have a strong flavour, for the true truffle lover. She first discovered them in Spain. Chelsea Market Baskets put six bags together in a woven container.

A&B American Style hot sauce: Anybody who knows anything about Oprah knows that she and Stedman need their heat! This three-pack set includes this Williamsburg, Brooklyn company’s Original, Garlic and More Heat flavours. They grow their own peppers on a rooftop.

Square One Vodka: made in the USA with organic rye and Teton mountain water. It’s a set of five in flavours called Botanical, Cucumber, Original, Basil and Bergamot. From a purveyor called Mel & Rose.

Moon and Lola pet ornaments: They’re mirrored in a gold colour and engraved with the pet’s name. Oprah’s pooches already have some.

Emi Jay nightshirts: Oprah loves her comfy loungewear, including some soft, stretchy grey nightshirts from this list returnee. They’re emblazoned with: “I Told My Therapist About You,” ”Namast’ay in Bed“ and ”I Wish You Looked at Me the Way You Look at Your Phone.“

Typhoon Vision kitchen scales: Oprah’s holiday picks were made just before she announced her 10 per cent stake in Weight Watchers. She included these retro-style, digital scales with stainless steel bowls to make it easier to measure dry and wet ingredients with little fuss.

Anastasia Beverly Hills lip gloss: Oprah handpicked a set of eight from one of her favourite companies. She promises they stay on forever and will take wearers from day to night.

Ultimate Lacquer Wardrobe from Butter London: 24 nail lacquers also chosen personally by Oprah. Rich colour, free of formaldehyde and toluene. She said the tiered box with the double doors reminds her of another favourite thing, the big box of 64 Crayola crayons.

L.L. Bean sledding tubes: Oprah is building new digs in Telluride, Colorado. She plans to stash a few of these plaid snow tubes for guests. They’re called the Sonic because they’re fast.

LuMee smartphone case: In search of the perfect selfie? This phone case has built-in, front-facing LED lights to make that happen. The idea is to cast a warm glow, Oprah says.


AP reporter Alicia Rancilio contributed to this story.


Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *