FROM THE MAGAZINE

Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello’s Holiday Gift Guide: Pillowy Socks and Plenty of Humor

The Hacks co-creators and newlyweds share their picks for the gifting season.

Photographed by Lea Winkler
Styled by Rebecca Ramsey

From left: Lucia Aniello wears a Proenza Schouler dress; Sophie Buhai earrings; Prada shoes; stylist...
From left: Lucia Aniello wears a Proenza Schouler dress; Sophie Buhai earrings; Prada shoes; stylist’s own bracelets. Paul W. Downs wears a Dior Men jacket and pants; the Kooples T-shirt; Pantherella socks; Celine Homme by Hedi Slimane shoes.

After delaying their wedding for 16 months because of the pandemic, Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello, the husband-and-wife team behind the hit comedy Hacks, traveled to Italy for an intimate exchange of vows with friends and family. A few days after they returned home, to Los Angeles, they attended the Emmys, where Hacks was nominated for 15 awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series (best actress went to the show’s star, Jean Smart). It made for an ideal honeymoon. “We recommend to any newlyweds: Win an Emmy after your wedding,” Downs jokes. “It’ll help keep the vibes up.”

Although Downs and Aniello are knee-deep in preparation for the show’s second season (“We’re going nuts over here,” Aniello says), their first holiday season as newlyweds is on the horizon. Rather than returning to their respective hometowns, the pair will be staying in L.A. That will, unfortunately, mean skipping Aniello’s grandmother’s performance with her church chorus, in Vero Beach, Florida, during midnight mass. Thankfully, the two had a lovely visit with Grandma during the wedding. “She was our flower girl,” Aniello notes.

For gifts this year, the pair is keeping things practical, functional, and ecologically friendly. Downs is a fan of Blue Bottle’s EcoCup, a reusable tumbler made from bamboo fiber and other plant-based materials. They also love MADE by DWC candles and home goods (each purchase helps fund career training and mentorship programs for the Downtown Women’s Center in L.A.), and prints from Art for Change, an organization that donates a portion of the proceeds from each piece to charities selected by artists.

Aniello, meanwhile, refers to herself as a “real evangelist” for Pillow Sole crew socks from the department store Von Maur—also made with bamboo fibers—which Downs and Aniello keep in the house for guests to wear. “We have these socks in excess—a large sack of them,” Aniello adds. “I’m a female Santa Claus with socks.”

Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello’s Gift Guide

Hair and makeup by Rachel Burney at the Wall Group; lighting director: Robert Kozek; photo assistant: Kurt Lavastida; retouching: Objectif29. Still lifes photographed by Devin Doyle; set design by Elaine Winter; styled by Christina Holevas.