Today, Christie’s auctioned off the well-worn leather jacket of Albert Einstein. You may know him as the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who figured out the essence of the universe almost a full century before science could prove him right. But he also had great fashion sense.
The jacket, a rather tasteful Indiana Jones affair, went for a stunning $US144,424 ($189,728). Christie’s describes the jacket as “rather pungent” and an item Einstein picked up sometime during the mid-1930s, when he came to America to escape Nazism in Germany. He may have even received it in celebration of his permanent US residency. It’s made by Levi Strauss.
After Einstein got his hands on the jacket, the two were almost inseparable. As Christie mentions:
Over several years, the jacket aged visibly. ‘Einstein wore it all the time — a fact mentioned in the memoirs of fellow scientist Leopold Infeld, who worked with him at Princeton. Infeld explained that Einstein tried to keep material restrictions to a minimum. Long hair reduced the need for a barber and, he wrote, “one leather jacket solved the coat problem for years.”
It’s unclear what will happen to the jacket, whether it will one day find its way to a museum or become part of the most flawless Albert Einstein cosplay the world has ever seen. I hope for the former but pray for the latter.