Latest Madoff cover-up for sale online

The Life: All kinds of materials are being used to create covers for tablets these days, including wood and cork. The latest material of choice: Bernie Madoff's old clothing.
The iPad covers made from Bernie Madoff's clothing. FrederickJames.com
The iPad covers made from Bernie Madoff's clothing. FrederickJames.com

"In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes."

Perhaps when the influential pop artist Andy Warhol coined that expression he should have said "everything" instead.

These days, Warhol's artwork adorns a line of covers for Apple's tablet computer, the iPad. And there are plenty of other unique materials that are being used to cover the device, including wood, cork and old clothes. But not just anyone's clothes.

This month, the online retailer FrederickJames.com, began selling iPad covers constructed from old clothing once worn by Bernie Madoff, the money manager famously imprisoned for running a US$65 billion (Dh238.74bn) Ponzi scheme.

The e-tailer's founder, John Vaccaro, bought Madoff's clothes from an auction, where he picked up sweaters made from cashmere and wool by brands such as Prada, Bergdorf Goodman and JCrew. A collection of pants included a mix of brands from Polo, Lacoste and Banana Republic, among others.

After sending the worn wares to a factory, seamstresses were able to cut between two and four iPad covers from each pair of pants. The retail price for each cover runs between $250 and $500, depending on the fabric and whether an original label with Madoff's name is included in the final product.

"I knew there was definitely a market for the Madoff [iPad] covers, because anything with his name on it was going for 100 times more than auctioneers thought they would, like slippers with his monogram on it," says Mr Vaccaro.

The first batch of covers have already sold out.

Mr Vaccaro has only several pairs of pants left for a final run of covers, which should be ready in a couple of months. But while the covers protect an iPad's screen from nicks and scratches while carried in a briefcase or purse, they "are not intended to be protective if you should drop your iPad", the retailer warns.

The Quote: When I got an iPad I said, "what I need is a cashmere cover so the top doesn’t get scratched when I put it into my briefcase." John Vaccaro, founder of FrederickJames.com, on why he used Bernie Madoff’s sweaters to create iPad covers

nparmar@thenationl.ae

Published: August 30, 2011 04:00 AM

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