Ten years ago, I worked at Trump magazine, the short-lived publication that aimed to attract a readership of wealthy men with an unending parade of luxury. Articles promised “the best” American caviar, spreads of designer jets and yachts, “classic” golf tips—accompanied, of course, with pages upon pages advertising Trump products, and a whole lot of scantily dressed women.
One representative example was the winter 2006 issue, the cover of which featured a champagne flute held between the ample breasts of a faceless model, all promoting a “Trumptastic gift guide” just in time for the holidays. Inside, the nine-page spread kicks off with a photo of a woman wearing a bubblegum pink nightie and holding a power tie-clad teddy bear sporting Donald Trump’s coiffure.
As far as I know, Trump didn’t pen the list himself. (The magazine’s publisher paid Trump to license his name; the mogul didn’t have anything to do with managing the magazine.) But today, the gift guide is a revealing glimpse into the president-elect’s psyche—the spirit of splashy extravagance that the magazine’s editorial team was trying to capture, and sell. Just half of the recommended items retailed for less than $1,000. Only a handful were made in the United States. None were intended for women, and all are informed by a particularly ostentatious male gaze.
In the spirit of nostalgia for a simpler time, here are eight of the items from the Christmas 2006 “Trumptastic gift guide…”