A Mad-off case of fraud: The iPad cases made from an ex-fraudsters wardrobe

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It is a ‘case’ of gadget vanity turned ugly. The iPad has entranced consumers, and having evolved into its second phase, is quite an item of desire: the Alexa satchel equivalent of the techie world. Just as the famed Mulberry arm candy comes in various colours and forms, it was only right the iPad was awarded its own wardrobe status. Chic cases from Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton and Hermès emerged, but nothing could possibly prepare gadget hoarders for this: iPad cases made from the auctioned wardrobe of a convicted fraudster. Yes, really.

Bernard ‘Bernie’ Madoff, the ex-stockbroker who was convicted in March 2009, willingly defrauded investors out of billions of dollars through an illicit financial mechanism called the Ponzi scheme. But when the notorious conman’s extensive wardrobe was auctioned off last year, entrepreneur John Vaccaro bought the lot and refashioned it into iPad cases selling for between $350-500.

 Is Vaccaro’s a warped sense of business acumen, or sheer genius? More of the former I would say, but I have to admire his previous designs which boast cases made from a Christian Dior sweater and Bergdorf Goodman cardigan, and proving to be instant sell-outs. The concept of revealing an iPad from under my arm in a boardroom full of potential investors, only for it to be clothed in an ex-financial fraudster’s wares is painfully ironic, but it doesn’t end there.

Vaccaro realised his creation was a goldmine when a Wall Street lawyer wanted to gift several cases as Christmas presents. Considering lawyers are the individuals charged with ensuring society is morally and criminally watertight, I can’t help but note the hilariously contradictory undertones of this situation. Maybe when the lawyer purchased the cases, it was his day off?

Judging by the warning from Vaccaro, his ‘Mad’-off creations can’t match the protection high-end cases offer: “if you drop it, it’s going to crack.” As long as it’s the iPad and not the law that’s broken, carry on churning them out, Vaccaro.

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