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In Emmy Gift Bags: Gems, Vases, Deodorant Pills
By: Ann Olderburg
September 2002

Last year’s lack of glitz, glamour and a festive spirit will definitely be made up for this year at the 54th annual Emmy Awards.

The red carpet is rolled out for Sunday’s show (NBC at 8 p.m. ET/PT). The stars are ready. And the gift bags are assembled.

“When 9/11 happened, it was inappropriate to be discussing gifts of this nature. We had a $24,000 gift bag, but we didn’t talk about it.” says Suzanne Gutierrez, director of the corporate relations for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “It was a very bittersweet feeling.”

So this year, Gutierrez changed the concept. Though last year’s basket boasted 65 items, this year’s is closer to a dozen — most of them being given in the form of gift certificates. She has had to turn away vendors.

“It has gotten crazy and out of control,” says Gutierrez. The point is to give presenters who do not get paid for their time and effort “a nice thank–you gift.” Many, she notes, donate these to charity.

For the first time in award show history, Architectural Digest will design two celebrity green rooms. One is the regular green room at the Shrine Auditorium; the other is a specially built room just off stage right. Special wallpaper, carpets, Subzero refrigerators, televisions, artworks and antiques cost about $400,000.

For vendors who didn’t get the official Emmy nod, many are sending Emmy presenters treats before the show. Sama Eyewear has invited stars to a private fitting to help create a “winning look for the red carpet.” And they have all been sent BodyMint, a new “total-body deodorant” pill.

So just what is the gift–bag loot?

Among the items (total value of about $24,000) in an oversized Dooney & Burke vegetable-dyed Vachetta leather bag.

  • John Hardy Jewelry made in Bali. For women, a bracelet in black and white sapphires. For men, garnet oval cufflinks.
  • Gift certificate for a pair of men’s handmade leather shoes from John Lobb.
  • Five nights accommodations at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows in Hawaii
  • Maurice Lacroix watches.
  • Nokia telephones that feature a full–color screen and stereo FM radio and which can send images just like a camera.
  • A vacuum cleaner, courtesy of Dyson.
  • One year’s worth of Rembrandt oral care products and a gift certificate for a one–hour whitening procedure with Dr. John Ivey.
  • One–year bicoastal health membership to the Sportsclub/LA Clubs nationwide.
  • Scruben crystal flower vase.
  • United Airlines upgrade certificates and gift certificates for dining for two at the Signature Room atop the John Hancock building in Chicago.

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