The Design Milk 2017 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Did you mark your calendar, because Father’s Day is almost before us (Sunday, June 18th, to be exact). That still gives you enough to time to get him something special to show your appreciation for all the big and small things he does throughout the year. And just your luck: we’ve gathered a selection of design-centric gift ideas representing a variety of interests and lifestyles, all reflecting the sentiment, “you’re the best, and deserve the best”.

1. MUJI’s Cotton Seersucker Jinbei
Pajamas are right up there with ties and socks in the Father’s Day pantheon of typical gifts for dad. So surprise him with an unexpected take on the jinbei, the Japanese two-piece outfit traditionally worn at home. Every bit as comfortable as PJs, but resolutely more refined.

2. EcoFlow River Mobile Power Station
For the guy who prides himself in coming prepared for any situation – the tech-toting adventurer with a drone, laptop, camera, and USB-powered gear galore – this mobile power station outfitted with power ports galore, will be immediately deemed as “the best gift ever” every time he plugs in.

3. Stahl Patio Firepit
With its simple lines, compact design, and rugged construction capable of going from backyard to backcountry, the Stahl firepit is our favorite portable place to flame on.

4. Eone Bradley Mesh Gold
Eye-catching without being ostentatious, Eone’s golden iteration of their magnetic movement timepiece is sure to invite conversation with every glimpse of its golden design.

5. B&O BeoPlay H5 Wireless Headphones
Of course, you’d buy your audiophile father a pair of those $40,000 BeoLab 90 speakers in a heartbeat if they were in your budget. He won’t be one bit disappointed if he unwraps a present to discover these smaller, more portable (and affordable) expression of the legendary brand.

6. Goby All-Black Electric Toothbrush
Don’t underestimate the effect an unexpected color variation can have upon a typically mundane everyday object like a toothbrush. The all-black Goby seemingly makes the act of keeping those pearly whites clean a little more badass.

7. The Oracle by Breville
Initially it was the name of this automatic espresso machine that piqued our interest. Then we discovered it automatically grinds, doses, tamps, and froths, using a dual boiler system for precise temperature control. High on our own wishlist…any dad who gets one is a lucky gent.

8. Braun Gents BN0095 Prestige Chronograph Watch
Braun hits a sweet spot between masculine brawn with elegant functionality. Give this to your most beloved horologist. He might not know the timepiece as a four iF awards and four Red Dot ‘honourable mention’ awards winner, but he’ll immediately recognize it as good design.

9. Signal Flashlight
Designer Sylvain Willenz illuminating objet d’art houses an ultra-bright LED inside its solid milled aluminum body. It’s also rechargeable via USB, so pair it up with the River Mobile Power Station, and he’ll always be ready to investigate those late night sounds downstairs or outside.

10. Glyder Perfect Styptic Balm & Hone Type 15 Razor
The Hone Type 15 Razor won an iF Gold Award in 2016 for its beautifully sculpted shape – a double edged safety razor that skips the retro-gentleman trappings of shavings and delivers something more satisfyingly modern. Paired with the Glyder Perfect Styptic Balm to care for those occasional nicks, the pair makes for a thoughtful skincare package.

11. PRO-JECT The Classic Sub-Chassis Turntable
Mix in a little bit of Don Draper with more than a dab of J. Dilla and you’ve got the PRO-JECT’s  belt drive turntable, a design celebrating the turntable company’s 25th anniversary. Available in Eucalyptus, Rosenut and Walnut wood finishes.

12. Clae Ellington SP
Like the jazz giant these shoes share a name with, there’s an air of sophistication delivered with these woven leather sneakers that’s equally relaxed and satisfyingly elegant. A sneaker that could imaginably sneak into more formal situations where other sneakers aren’t welcome.

13. RS Barcelona Mon Oncle BBQ + Butcher Box Subscription
Monsieur Hulot would approve of the modernist design of this fanciful portable grill, one that disguises itself into an equally fashionable looking suitcase while en route to its eventual grilling destination.  A grill this good looking deserves cuts of meat on par with the quality of design, so pair it up with a gift box of grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork from Butcher Box, a reputable meat subscription box service (just remember to invite yourself over to partake in the grilled festivities).

14. Thinking Tools Mechanical Pen
Outfitted with an all-brass click mechanism manufactured by Schmidt, these unibody mechanical writing tools are anything but disposable: precision machined from a single brass rod, these pens should last a lifetime even under the duress of the most prolific of letter writers or check signers.

15. Aura Frame
The Aura is a lot smarter than those clunky digital picture frames of yesteryear. For one thing, the UHD screen is crystal clear; it also automatically adjusts brightness according to interior conditions. There’s also gesture control to swipe through a collection. But where the Aura shows off its brains is by automatically creating photo collections of the people who most often appear in your phone’s photo gallery – which means Dad can enjoy his favorite family photos without futzing with complex controls, a gift in itself.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at