Gifted Giver: Crystal Nicodemus, our Global Trend Reporter

We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

Some people have insanely cool jobs, and we think our Global Trend Reporter, Crystal Nicodemus happens to be one of them. You probably know her best from our street style reports wherein she uses her keen eye at Fashion Week to snap the most inspiring looks, but did you know she actually does that all year long? This super-nice, super-talented Pacific Northwesterner travels to fashion capitals, music fests and random places the world over to stalk style locals and capture what’s trending globally with her trusty camera—and in the process, she gets style stalked herself. When not gallivanting abroad hard at work, Crystal is back at home in Portland spending time with her fiancé and hairless Sphinx, Wednesday—see more of Crystal’s world (mostly her grumpy cat) on Instagram.

The Thread: What would you love to give your fiancé this year?
My fiancé (Kevin) and I always plan a special trip together as our main gift for the holidays. This year, we’re going to organize a road trip from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, with as many stops along the way as we possibly can. I’ve never been to Dollywood or Graceland, so those are must-sees! Kevin and I love the Smithsonian museums, too, and we haven’t been since we were little kids.

However, I can’t resist putting actual presents under the tree, so I’ve got a little list going for him. Kevin has been hinting around some Allen Edmonds brogues that would look great with his new Topman suit. Maybe Santa will come through for him. ☺ I love Northwest-favorite Danner boots, too. A pair of those rugged classics would be great to get him through the winter season and beyond.

What would you love to unwrap for yourself?
I have a fantasy list and a realistic one. If I could unwrap anything, regardless of price, I’d go all designer, all the way! The Saint Laurent Cat booties, Stella McCartney’s The 70’s Flare jeans, 6397’s amazing denim jumpsuit…I could go on and on! I also love everything that Olivia Kim sources for Nordstrom’s Pop-In shops. Seriously, every time I go in, I want to buy the whole lot! More realistically, I’d love to get some new beauty products, especially some Tom Ford lipsticks, which are like little boxes of art. I wouldn’t mind a few more diptyque candles for my house, either!

What kinds of things do people tend to give you? Why do you suppose that is? And what does no one ever give you, or what do you never indulge in for yourself?
People tend to give me books, which is perfect! I love pretty much every genre, and my nightstand is always overflowing, much to Kevin’s chagrin. This year, I’d love to see ‘Women in Clothes’ or a classic edition of ‘Lonesome Dove’ under the tree. I’ve always been a big reader and through the years, it’s become a family tradition to surprise me with new titles. Another funny gifting tradition we have is slippers. Kevin gets me a new pair every year, which sounds lame, but is actually great for both of us, because I am always putting my frozen feet on him!

I love shopping and it’s part of my job, which is amazing. I don’t really shy away from purchasing whatever I want, within reason. However, one sector I don’t really indulge in is dresses. If I were feeling adventurous, I would love to treat myself to a sophisticated and chic dress from the likes of Erdem, Christopher Kane, or Alexander McQueen. Maybe this is the year!

What’s your go-to host or hostess gift, either for a party or for a weekend or extended stay?
I love finding the perfect gifts for friends. Hostess gifts are such a fun excuse to take a moment and really think about what kind of token would make your friend smile. I find that small plants in beautiful ceramic pots or a creative bouquet always go over well. Hand-printed tea towels, exotic teas, and handmade baking kits are also fun. During the holidays, though, I pick out a special tree ornament and tie it around a bottle of bourbon. Who doesn’t need a stiff drink after all that holiday shopping?

SHOP: Holiday Gifts