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Vogue editor Anna Wintour vowed to never allow Sam Bankman-Fried to ‘step foot in fashion again’ after the former crypto billionaire snubbed her invite to the Met Gala.

The interaction was revealed in Michael Lewis’ new book ‘Going Infinite’, which details the dramatic rise and fall of Bankman-Fried and his cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

When Bankman-Fried was flying high as the richest person in the world under 30 in early 2022, one fateful Zoom meeting with Wintour saw him agree to be her special guest at the ritzy gala – even though he ‘didn’t know who she was.’ 

The tome explains how Bankman-Fried was covertly playing video games while speaking with Wintour, responding ‘yup’ to anything she said, including the possibility of financing the entire Met Gala himself. 

But after the meeting ended ‘warmly’, Bankman-Fried remarked that he would ‘certainly be out of place there’, and flaked on his invite without telling Wintour’s team until the day before the event was held.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour (pictured this week at Paris Fashion Week) allegedly vowed to cast Bankman-Fried out of the fashion world forever after he snubbed her Met Gala invitation

Bankman-Fried’s fateful meeting with Wintour saw him apparently agree to be her special guest as he was distracted by playing video games online, a common habit for the young billionaire 

The newly released book by Lewis, the famed author of The Big Short, offers a close-up glimpse into Bankman-Fried’s bombastic lifestyle before his exchange collapsed, which led to his arrest and subsequent trial for fraud this week

His manic behavior, which saw him constantly ‘doing several things at once’, was on full effect in his online meeting with Wintour, where he knew almost nothing about her besides that she ran a magazine. 

Bankman-Fried toggled between his favorite game Storybook Brawl and Wintour, and despite his apparently rude mannerisms, Wintour was apparently ‘warming to him’. 

The billionaire opened a prepared memo of quick facts about Wintour for the first time as he met her, Lewis writes, and his eyes darted around the screen as he played the game in the background. 

The interaction was revealed in Michael Lewis’ new book ‘Going Infinite’, which details the dramatic rise and fall of Bankman-Fried and his cryptocurrency exchange FTX

The whole time, he was ostensibly aware that their early niceties were building up towards ‘the reason for the call.’

The reason was Wintour’s Met Gala, however the promise of a glamorous, A-lister filled bash was clearly not capturing Bankman-Fried’s attention like Storybook Brawl was.

‘Sam had only a few seconds to organize his fighting force. He needed to focus. Anna Wintour was making that impossible,’ said Lewis, noting that Wintour probed him for details over his lucrative political donations.

Wintour was fishing for Bankman-Fried to join her on the red carpet, where he would create a buzz around the event while he would get a trade-off by being introduced to legions of potential female clients. 

Up to that point, Lewis noted that a huge portion of FTX’s users and marketing was geared towards men. 

Their transactional meeting saw Wintour allegedly hint at Bankman-Fried paying for ‘the entire shindig’, while also prodding for him to meet her favorite political heavyweight – Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Wintour (pictured at the 2023 Met Gala) was seemingly wanting Bankman-Fried to attend her ritzy event to create a buzz, a transactional relationship that would see him introduced to scores of female clients not interested in cryptocurrency 

During his fateful meeting with Wintour, Bankman-Fried was playing his favorite video game in the background named Storybook Brawl

After agreeing to join Wintour on the red carpet, Lewis says it was abundantly clear he ‘hadn’t really thought about it’. 

This attitude extended all the way up until the week of the gala, although he had said after his Zoom call with the Vogue editor that he understood it could be a ‘difficult needle to thread.’

While running his FTX platform – and allegedly funneling money to his hedge fund Alameda Research, which he is currently on trial for – Bankman-Fried’s team ran with the assumption that he would join the event.

He cited his ‘disdain’ for fashion and slammed Wintour behind the scenes as having one of the ‘few businesses that I have strong moral objections to.’ Still, the promise of appealing to millions of people by showing up at the event was almost enough. 

FTX’s marketing team, which had already pushed Bankman-Fried to broaden his company’s PR scope, ‘sounded out Louis Vuitton about creating a red-carpet-worthy version of Sam’s T-shirt and cargo shorts look.’

Lewis added that other FTX-employees also recruited Tom Ford to design ‘a more conventional outfit, complete with sixty-five-thousand-dollar cuff links.’ 

However, he eventually decided against attending, in a manner that was apparently more of a non-decision to remain in his cargo shorts than to intentionally upset Wintour. 

His public relations chief Natalie Tien was apparently prepared to let Wintour’s team down, but was surprised to receive a furious response from the Vogue boss. 

‘They called me and shouted and said Sam will never set foot in fashion again,’ Natalie said, in an incident reminiscent of Meryl Streep’s hardnosed portrayal of Wintour in the hit film Devil Wears Prada. 

Lewis concluded that although the exchange between Wintour and Bankman-Fried ended hostile, it paled in comparison to the countless times he stressed his own team with bizarre, last-minute decisions such as dropping out of speaking at the World Economic Forum the night before. 

The book adds that Bankman-Fried seemingly acted with impunity, and the ‘general rule of life’ among those at FTX was that ‘Sam got to be Sam.’ 

Bankman-Fried faced a jury for the first time this week over a slew of federal charges related to the multi-billion dollar collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022 

The former billionaire, seen in a court sketch this week, could be sentenced to up to 115 years behind bars if found guilty 

Bankman-Fried’s alleged frivolous behavior led him to make a slew of political donations, real estate purchases and luxurious lifestyle choices, funded in part by a scheme that prosecutors say was ‘one of the biggest frauds in US history.’ 

The 31-year-old faced a jury for the first time this week on accusations that he embezzled from FTX customers in order to prop up his hedge fund Alameda Research. 

He launched the company in 2019 and it quickly grew into an enterprise worth tens of billions of dollars. Bankman-Fried recruited A-list celebrities from Tom Brady to Larry David to promote the firm and also rubbed shoulders with leading politicians like Bill Clinton. 

But the company suffered a catastrophic collapse in November 2022, leaving customers roughly $10 billion out of pocket, prosecutors claim. The saga shocked markets and tattered SBF’s once god-like reputation within the crypto industry.

A bombshell trial is expected to feature his ex-girlfriend and former top lieutenant, Caroline Ellison, 29, as the prosecution’s star witness.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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