The Toronto International Film Festival is all about celebrities, film, parties and swag. When the four elements come together to create two weeks of buzz, the city gets a little bit starstruck. Everyone wants to know where the stars are staying, who they’re wearing and, most of all, what’s in the bag?
Cue the gifting lounges, where Canadian companies roll out the Red Carpet to get top products in the hands of top influencers.
We decided to kick off the festivities with a visit to the Tastemakers Lounge presented by Brita, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as the first Canadian-owned gifting suite. With past guests including Brad Pitt and Samuel L. Jackson, it’s no surprise that the lounge pulled out all the stops once again.
This year, three suites in the InterContinental Toronto Centre were transformed into showrooms for a variety of international and Canadian brands.
The lounge has already been visited by Elisha Cuthbert, TIFF Rising Star Julia Sarah Stone, Christian Lloyd (Maps to the Stars), Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek, 12 Monkeys), and Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott.
Celebrities who visited the lounge this weekend were sent home with a slew of goodies, including a new pair of Sorel boots to face fall and winter in style. While Sorel’s footwear selection included a few durable essentials perfect for snowy days, the brand also served up some fashion-forward wedges in beige, black and brown leather.
Inspired by the silverscreen legends, Danier Leather gifted a range of accessories from their fall/winter collection, including smooth leather crossbody bags, portfolio cases and an on-trend leather cap that stole the show.
Vancouver-based online jewelry boutique olive + piper had quite a few eye-catching statement accessories on display and shared some of their versatile layered pendant necklaces.
With cooler temperatures around the corner, everyone was happy to get their hands on a cozy yet luxe “snoodie”, a cross between a scarf and hoodie, designed by Canadian fashion designer Tonia DeBellis.
Combining skincare and charity, LUSH Cosmetics was in attendance to highlight their Charity Pot initiative. During TIFF, the full price of each gifted Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion will be donated to Girls Rock Camp Toronto and the Children’s Place Theatre.
Other swag included Rise Gear’s Jumper carry-on bag, Brita’s new Hard Sided Bottle, Consonant Skincare’s HydrExtreme moisturizer, Calvin Klein REVEAL for her, Counting Sheep Coffee and Papa D’s Tropical Hot Sawce.
Next, FAJO headed over to the sixth annual Bask-It-Style lounge at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
This year, the Royal Suite on the 16th floor was converted into a lounge that treated celebrities to everything from e-readers and gourmet snacks to beauty must-haves.
Jewelry designer Tamara Kronis showcased some sophisticated custom pieces from her Studio 1098 line, while beauty buffs familiarized themselves with Mary Kay’s assortment of fall eye shadows and lipsticks.
KOBO was there to launch their new waterproof e-reader, the Aura H20, while DK Publishing brought best-selling author Linwood Barclay to the scene to promote his book.
Toronto’s own Brickworks Cider was also present to refresh guests, who were all sent home with a swag bag filled with goodies.