As the brand’s “Gifting Spokes-Family,” the Novogratz fam (Bob, Cortney and their seven children) will curate their favorite gifting picks for the entire family and in addition, have designed a limited-edition “Family” fleece blanket for $12.
We caught up with patriarch Robert Novogratz recently about what the family-of-nine is up to this holiday season and why they love Old Navy!
You’re working with Old Navy this holiday season. Tell us about that. What gifts do you recommend from Old Navy right now?
Our partnership with Old Navy—they’re all about family and I think that’s why they came to us. The Family Fleece in all stores. And the kids did a song for them called “Family” that’s on YouTube and will be on the Old Navy website as well… We’re really appreciative to be working with Old Navy—it’s been really fun. They’re doing some really cool stuff with their brand…Kids, when you talk about clothes, they have a great assortment of t-shirts, the kids seem to like that. The rock star things and all that… The kids are really loving the t-shirts. Those are the best for kids.
What about Old Navy makes it a great place for families for holiday shopping?
First of all, they have things for all ages. You can find stuff for little kids, tweens, teens, you name it. We have a 5-year-old, a 17-year-old, two parents… [Old Navy’s] styles are designed to seem a lot more hip. And the price point—to get a family fleece [blanket] for $12, or a cool sweater for $15. And it just looks better. The designs feel like they did when they first came out. A lot brands, year after year, it starts to feel kind of the same, but [Old Navy] has a better vibe. They have a real brain trust there, and a lot of groovy designers, and it just looks better. And it certainly feels better. I’m just looking at some of the t-shirts that the kids love, and there’s a million of them…I like the word play, like: “Give Me Space,” or “Heart Breaker” because we have a son named Breaker. There are some really groovy t-shirts for $8-9.
With a large family—you have seven kids—what are some of the joys and challenges of navigating the holiday season?
I think the challenge is getting stuff you need—not just for kids, but for adults too. But we try to be creative. One of our kids is really into art, so we get him things like colored pencils or anything art-related. One kid’s into music so we try to get him something music-related—we got a record player recently, so vinyl has become really big in our house, which I think makes for a fun a present. I feel like you have to be a little bit creative and have fun and take your time a little bit [with shopping]—it’s hard to do all that in two days. It’s not really about the money you spend, it’s about the time you put in.
Do you have any special holiday traditions?
We do—Cortney, especially, is very traditional. I do a holiday card. This year we shot our 18th card—we have all 17 of them, so it’s a big to-do. Our oldest, Wolfie, is 17, so we did the first card when he was 4 months old. We’re big on sending the card in the mail too—I think people love getting them and I think that’s just about the only thing we mail, is the Christmas card. We do about 500 of them, so it’s a lot of mailing. So we do the Christmas card and we always have a Christmas Eve party. We’re big into getting the tree—and we always go to Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve. Some of the kids were griping that we had to go but we go…I think whether you’re religious or not, I think Christmas is a good time to maybe go to some sort of place [of spirituality]…you always leave there feeling kind of good, and we’ve brought people of all denominations and just to hear Christmas music is, I think, a nice thing, even if you’re not religious. People seem to like it.
Being in the design world, do you have any tips for NYC families who are making the best of a small space?
We’re always kind of about the same stuff—getting rid of the clutter. Going back to Christmas: Kids and people don’t so much, so get rid of a lot of the junk you’ve accumulated. But also kind of make [your space] your own. It could be a piece of art, a print, your kids’ art. Make it unique. We always say we’re real big fans of European design, and if you go to a small space in Europe, one thing they don’t have is 24 TVs and a lot of clutter. That’s really the most important thing.
Do you have any favorite design trends right now?
We’ve been collectors of art for 15-16 years and…you can great art at places like artspace.com—you can get $50 prints or $50 original photographs. I feel that art is just a great trend right now. I’ve always loved plaids and I think plaids are really big right now, and I think wall paper and wall coverings have made a definite comeback. I think a great way of doing that I using one wall as a focal wall with really groovy wall paper.
What’s next for your family in 2015?
We’re doing a new hotel in Sonoma, outside San Francisco, so that’s probably the most exciting thing we’re doing right now. We’re doing a lot of brand stuff right now as well, working with a bunch of retailers.