The Star Treatment: Exploring NKPR’s IT House Gifting Lounge as Toronto Buzzes with TIFF Excitement

by John-Paul Ricchio

The city comes alive with a special energy during the Toronto International Film Festival, with the red carpet’s glitz just a part of the star-studded scene. Today, I had the pleasure of visiting NKPR’s IT House, an oasis for VIPs to indulge in A-list treatment during TIFF. Here, sought-after brands generously gift thousands of dollars in merchandise to the world’s hottest stars. For 18 years, IT HOUSE has been dedicated to pampering celebrities at this premier festival while championing charitable causes. Now, join me as I take you through the exclusive perks extended to the city’s most fabulous guests.

Upon entering the IT House, I was welcomed with a delicious espresso from the internationally recognized Made in Italy appliance brand SMEG, fuelling me for a day of pampering and sophistication.

Photo: George Pimentel

As looking our best is so key for TIFF, how fitting to next be whisked into the world of La Mer to prep my skin for a week of film premieres. This luxe beauty and skincare brand boasts a cult following among A-list stars like Beyoncé, Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian, and Chrissy Teigen. The La Mer experience included a Lifting Firming Serum facial massage, eye crème application, and an overall illumination treatment using their celebrated serums and lotions, including the iconic Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream.

Here are the products that I tried… Beyoncé eat your heart out!

Photo: George Pimentel

My skin now perfectly prepped I moved on to makeup, where NARS provided a complete transformation. They set up a boudoir-style area with expert lighting, where I received a full face of glam, featuring NARS Light Reflecting Eye Brightener, Powermatte High-intensity Lip Pencil in shade Dolce Vita 888, and Light Reflecting Setting Powder, ensuring a shine-free appearance under the spotlight.

Photo: George Pimentel

Next I explored Canadian fashion-forward brand Melanie Lyne with its gorgeous collection of chic, party-ready pieces. Known for its iconic color palettes, natural fabrics, and flowing silhouettes, the selection offered endless options for creating the perfect TIFF outfit.

Photo: George Pimentel

For men’s fashion, Patrick Assaraf’s line, inspired by European elegance and Italian menswear tailoring, delivered a contemporary take on luxury, comfort, and ease—essential qualities for any festival-goer.

Photo: George Pimentel

Let’s briefly hit the brakes and give a shout-out to the exceptional photography team behind the scenes! After all, without them, we’d miss out on all the fabulous glam of this star-studded world….

Photo: George Pimentel

Back to our adventure… refreshments were provided by No Sugar Shop from No Sugar Co, offering healthy, zero-sugar drink and snacking options. The bar served espresso martinis courtesy of Tia Maria, a coffee liqueur brand, and Cookin, a local homemade food delivery marketplace, catered to guests with made-to-order meals created by some of the city’s most talented food creators, professional home cooks, and chefs.

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NKPR was founded in 2002 by Natasha Koifman with the aim of combining two passions: highlighting meaningful stories and supporting causes that make a difference. In 2006, NKPR’s IT lounge led the way as North America’s first charity-focused gifting suite. This tradition continues at the 2023 IT House, featuring charitable activities throughout Toronto’s film festival season, with proceeds supporting Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ).

Located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, it’s the hub of star-studded sophistication. Wishing you a fantastic TIFF darlings! JPR xo

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