sbf: the virtue was the con

How Did FTX End Up at the Met Gala?

Understanding his fashion and high-society fixer, Lauren Remington Platt.

Illustration: Zohar Lazar
Illustration: Zohar Lazar

They were an odd pair, Sam Bankman-Fried and Lauren Remington Platt: the philosophical nerd in desperate need of a proper haircut and the coiffed, gown-ready, fashion-show fixture whose most recent Instagram on her now-locked feed, from July, is of her embracing and wishing a happy 88th birthday to Giorgio Armani.

In February of this year, SBF tapped LRP to serve as FTX’s head of global luxury partnerships, a job “essential for the next phase of growth of our team’s partnership and branding focus,” as SBF put it in a press release. Platt couched her contributions-to-be in high-minded platitudes about bringing gender parity to the crypto-bro scene. “Only 7 percent of women are investing in cryptocurrency, and that not only has financial implications but long-term societal effects … To achieve true gender equality, we must invite women to the conversation and provide the tools they need to lay claim to crypto’s ascension.” In any case, LRP showed up on the red carpet at the Met Gala wearing a necklace inspired by the company’s logo.

Raised in New Jersey with summers in Connecticut, she is a genuine American aristocrat, a descendant of the Remington Arms clan, which supplied Union soldiers during the Civil War, as well as of the du Ponts, suppliers to the world of forever chemicals. (Her great-grandfather Winter Mead, Yale class of 1919 and captain of the crew team, was mildly implicated in the alleged grave-robbing of Geronimo’s tomb by members of Skull and Bones.)

Lauren Remington Platt, Sam Bankman-Fried, and Gisele Bündchen. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia (class of 2007), Platt worked in finance before launching an idea of her own in 2011: Vênsette, a company that supplied on-demand, at-home hair-and-makeup appointments for women on the go; its name, according to the New York Times, was an “amalgam of the Place Vendôme in Paris and Marie Antoinette.” In that same story, she described her lightbulb moment after struggling to get ready for the Met Gala in the bathroom of her hedge-fund office, whereas Gisele Bündchen enjoyed hours of hair and makeup before she hit the red carpet. Despite its high prices (a blowout would run you around $100), it was a success: This magazine ranked its makeup housecalls the Best of New York.”

But the company seems to have fizzled out — the most recent post on its Instagram is from December 2020, and a call and a booking request on its website have gone, so far, unanswered — and when FTX came calling, LRP was ready.

The exact duties of her position were hazy but public facing. (She did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment.) She seemed to be a kind of all-purpose brand ambassador. In April, she spoke with SBF and Bündchen — the supermodel once again her foil, though now her colleague as FTX’s head of environmental and social initiatives — onstage at the SALT Crypto Bahamas conference, where they revealed an ad campaign in which both SBF and Bündchen appeared. (It later ran in Vogue.) The Met Gala was in May. Later that month, she was co-chair of amfAR’s annual Cannes gala… tables and tickets were purchasable for the first time in crypto (though FTX’s sponsorship dollars, a representative said, came in USD), and the custom Comète necklace (the one she wore to the Met with a corresponding NFT on FTX’s NFT Marketplace) was auctioned for €125,000. On Instagram, where she had just 12,100 followers (no doubt they were the right followers, though), she gamely relayed FTX’s do-gooding zeal.

According to her LinkedIn, Platt left FTX in August. For a seven-month job, it was a chaotic one, and one that may brand her as an amalgam of crypto-Ponzi martyr and Marie Antoinette. Or then again, maybe it won’t. A friend says she is quick to DM back and hasn’t gone into hiding.

How involved was she really, anyhow? In the class-action suit David Boies et al. filed November 15 against SBF, Bündchen, Steph Curry, Larry David, and other big names associated with FTX, Platt was not included among the defendants. That’s bound to be a relief—or the deepest cut of all.

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How Did FTX End Up at the Met Gala?