Bankman-Fried was a crypto criminal, according to Michael Lewis's account

Bankman-Fried was a crypto criminal, according to Michael Lewis's account

He was a crypto billionaire in a t-shirt and baggy cargo shorts, and his attire as a crypto criminal is a ill-fitting suit.

When celebrities, magazines, and former leaders of the free world courted him throughout the course, the queen of fashion and editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour, could resist someone with no concern for his clothing. Well, that's until Bankman-Fried's death blew her away.

In an excerpt of his forthcoming chronicle of Bankman-Fried's rise and fall, Michael Lewis, who has published blockbuster hits such as The Big Short and Moneyball, describes how Bankman-Fried entertained Wintour's invitation to the Met Gala, arguably the most watched fashion event of the year, only to not show up.

On Valentine's Day, in 2022, during a tour of Los Angeles and meal after meal with celebrities like Shaquille O's largest crypto exchanges before it suddenly went bankrupt almost a year ago, Wintour spoke with repeated 'yups as Wintour spoke over Zoom, but most of the time, he played his favorite video game, Storybook Brawl.

Given the impression that Bankman-Fried's distracted nods were a yes to her invitation and requests for a sponsorship, Wintour 'warmly' concluded the conversation. The FTX cofounder was unconvinced.

Bankman-Fried's team, however, planned as if he were going to the fashion event of the year, sounding out Louis Vuitton to see whether it was possible to design a couture version of Bankman-Fried's T-shirt-and-cargo-pants uniform, and paying Tom Ford to design an outfit replete with $65,000 cufflinks.

Bankman-Fried, however, backed out of the gala, and as opposed to the polite notes of understanding from the many other celebrities he's bailed on, Wintour's team was outraged. The former chief public relations officer at FTX, Lewis, told the Times: ''Fantasy's the best public relations agency in the world,'' he said.

Vogue publisher Condé Nast, a rep for Vogue, said Lewis's account was 'not accurate' without elaborating.

The account of Bankman-Fried's brief flirtation with the rarefied echelons of fashion is just one of many previously unreported anecdotes to come out of Lewis's highly anticipated book, Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.

Other investors include Bankman-Fried's musings of whether to pay former president Donald Trump billions to bow out of the 2024 presidential race and the previously unreported sums that the FTX cofounder pledged to Tom Brady, a model and Brady's ex-wife, for 'partnering' with the crypto exchange.

Going Infinite is set to be released on Tuesday, the day that jury selection for Bankman-Fried's trial is scheduled to begin. Oral arguments will begin the following day in what is certain to be one of the most heavily covered white-collar criminal cases of the decade.

update, Oct. 3-2023: Added in statement from Vogue disputing Lewis's account.