In June 2016 we announced our inaugural CH Omakase (a Japanese word meaning “expert’s choice”) holiday gift assortment promising a group of exclusive collaborations and early access to new products—each box curated for its recipient. We didn’t name any of our partners or give any hints, as being surprised is half the fun. Orders were taken through the summer, and items were made exclusively for our lucky Omakase recipients, and only for them. No more were produced or are available. We couldn’t be happier with the result, partnering with 30 makers, brands and creators for nearly 40 different products—from one-of-a-kind commissions to editions of 90, each now in the hand of those who reserved their Omakase over the summer. While it’s too late to be part of the 2016 CH Omakase, now is the perfect time to reserve yours for next year.
Now that we’ve shipped our Omakase boxes, we can finally divulge just how exciting they are. The 2016 COOL HUNTING Omakase program is supported by our partnership with the Lincoln Motor Company.
With some 40 beautiful products hand-picked by the COOL HUNTING team each Omakase gift box is special, thanks to varying tiers of gifting and unique items that have been created and chosen for specific clients in mind. This very special program is possible given the efforts of the Lincoln Motor Company and our partners—the 30 different artists, designers, makers and brands who worked with us to create the gifts. From one-of-a-kind commissions to early access items and limited edition products, we’re incredibly proud of the diverse collection within. There are edible, wearable, functional, playful and beautiful products, many just-launched, many on the far end of the obsessive compulsive spectrum that we report on and appreciate. All have the CH stamp of approval.
One standout item is the CH Omakase Edition Otis Backpack, a piece we worked on for several months with the team at Tumi. With every detail considered, the result is our best carry-all yet—made from high-quality coated canvas that’s sturdy, weather-resistant and durable. Most exciting though, is that the pockets inside each of the 25-piece limited edition Omakase edition bag’s front panel are lined with antique Japanese resist indigo-dyed katazome cloth that’s over 100 years old, and each bag is unique. (While you can’t purchase one of the Omakase editions you can pick up one of the standard version packs from Tumi.)
Our katazome collection, acquired at Sri Threads, served as the muse for a second product: our limited Omakase edition collaboration with Cole Haan. We started with the lightweight leather GrandPrø tennis sneaker and bonded the vintage katazome cloth to the leather, selecting the fabric for each person on our list. The CH Omakase sneakers have been made in an edition of just 50 and, as each fabric panel was hand-selected and chosen for each client, no two pairs are exactly the same. While no more of these will be made, you can pick up a pair of the standard issue GrandPrø at Cole Haan online.
Every Omakase recipient receives a limited edition pack of Askinosie Chocolate’s soon-to-be-released Dirty White Chocolate + Vintage Cocoa Gravel 1098 chocolate bar. The family-owned, bean-to-bar company’s first two-part blend, this complex and unique bar took two years to make, with its components resting and aging, bringing together cocoa butter from the Philippines with dark chocolate covered nibs from Tanzania.
Another item crafted especially for Omakase is NYC-based ceramic artist Jonathan Castro‘s ribbed mug—a handmade vessel containing a lush pomegranate sage-scented candle with a crackling wood wick. When the candle has burned out, you can use it as a mug, vase or place to put just about anything. The Omakase edition keytag (おまかせ) from Various Projects is a daily reminder to trust your favorite expert.
Our Omakase limited editions are complemented by products that are just coming out, and we received early access to several must-haves—from the all-black limited edition G-RO suitcase; Master & Dynamic’s MW50 on-ear wireless headphones, made from solid aluminum and leather; Todd Snyder‘s collaboration with Timex, for which the designer delved into the watch brand’s vault to bring back his favorite vintage styles—now complete with Snyder’s modern touches; and the Ember temperature-controlled mug that keeps our Omakase edition Blue Bottle Perfectly Ground pour-over Finca Kilimanjaro single-estate beans grown by celebrated coffee farmer Aida Batlle in El Salvador at their ideal temperature.
Over the next few weeks we’ll share each item with you, including our Omakase edition Sudacas coat rack from Buenos Aires; syrups from June Taylor; selvedge denim totes from 3×1; cashmere bandanas, scarves and blankets by From the Road; hand-made cuffs from Beatriz in the Philippines; canvas and denim bags from Troubadour; a beautiful Uniform Wares women’s watch with a custom band; a belt from Editions de Ré, an Omakase edition travel USB cable by Native Union. Plus early access to Soxfords newest sock style, the Omakase edition Goby electric toothbrush, an exclusive sticker pack by Jon Burgerman, the new Aeron chair by Herman Miller, glassware from Warby Parker and Tom Fruin, original art by Ben Stubbington, the SproutsIO indoor product system, the Electric Objects EO2 system with an Omakase exclusive frame, a beautifully made Omakase edition Tic Tac Toe set by Sarmiento from Buenos Aires, custom commissions by artist Louis Lim, the Cole Haan + Mountain Hardware StudiøGrand Stow Away Parka, and a few things that we’ll announce in a few months when they become public.
Ultimately the choice is on each Omakase customer as to whether they gift or keep their items. Either way, thanks to the trust and talents of our amazing partners, every single item is an entirely covetable, special piece that we hope will bring a little joy, inspiration and delight to you and yours this holiday season and into the future.
Images by Cool Hunting