THE BIG GIVE: How to Spend It, the Financial Times’ high-end lifestyle magazine, and an early template for the luxury weekend supplements in so many British newspapers, is marking its 20th anniversary with a one-off title, How to Give It, where all the merchandise and services featured are up for grabs. The items will be auctioned by Christie’s online from Nov. 29, when the title comes out with the FT Weekend, until Dec. 11, with all monies raised going to the charity Save the Children. Gillian de Bono, editor of How to Spend It, said the initial idea was to address the topic of philanthropy, but the team quickly decided to turn the whole issue over to fund-raising.
This story first appeared in the November 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
There are 83 lots on offer, donated by advertisers and worth 531,846 pounds, or $832,280 at current exchange. They include a Chopard watch made from Fairmined 18-karat rose gold and modeled by Colin Firth on the cover; a Stella McCartney Green Carpet Challenge dress made from organic cotton lace and recycled printed silk chiffon; and a five-night oriental medicine retreat for two at Como Shambhala Estate. Among the other lots are Bulgari, Boucheron and Cartier rings; bags from Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Giorgio Armani; and suits from Dunhill, Ermenegildo Zegna and Gieves & Hawkes. Christie’s has waived all commissions for the project.
De Bono said the magazine is “not a catalogue of random lots,” and the biddable merchandise is there because it belongs in a specific story. “We said [to the companies] what we would like to have, and we also needed to ensure we got a good cross-section of lots and lifestyle choices — holidays, spas and fine dining,” said de Bono, adding that the project took about nine months to put together.
Indeed, the magazine carries all of How to Spend It’s usual columns and sections, as well as articles on topics such as the long relationship between art and philanthropy, and the way luxury marques support the environment, the arts and society’s vulnerable citizens.