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Paul Manafort's $15,000 ostrich coat gets plucked on Twitter

It even has its own Twitter account now.


Fashion fail? Twitter thinks so.

US Department of Justice

While you could take a deep dive into the political implications of former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's trial, a healthy chunk of the internet is obsessed with one particular detail that emerged this week: Manafort bought a $15,000 (£11,500, AU$20,400) jacket made of ostrich skin.

Manafort is facing charges of bank fraud and tax evasion, but he may have committed a crime against fashion with his purchase of the black coat that evokes the look of a painfully '80s Members Only jacket.

Federal prosecutors released an image of the jacket, which they're using to illustrate Manafort's lavish spending habits, and Twitter was more than ready to make fun of it.

CNN's Kara Scannell helped to spread the jacket across Twitter on Wednesday, writing, "Behold. The $15,000 ostrich coat Manafort bought with an international wire transfer, according to a men's clothier who testified today. Government exhibit."

Twitter users in Scannell's thread described the jacket as looking like "leftover wardrobe from a Wham! video," "not even cool" and "a crime against taste and refinement."

Some people were surprised by the jacket's appearance. One Twitter user compared the actual jacket to what she imagined it might look like -- namely a long, feathered creation. 

Another shared an image of the muppet Sam Eagle looking imperious with the caption, "Manafort in his ostrich coat."

CNN political commentator Steve Cortes referenced the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial and the infamous gloves. "I'm just waiting for the high-drama moment when Manafort tries on the $15k ostrich coat before the jury...and it's way too small. #IfItDoesntFitYouMustAcquit," he wrote.

Manafort's fashion choice reminded at least one Twitter user of Icelandic musician Björk, who has been known for her unusual clothing items. "I've heard enough on the #Manafort trial. Ostrich coat? Who is he, Bjork? Guilty. #Mueller," Heretu Botheru wrote.

Twitter user The Hoarse Whisperer did some math by figuring that a live ostrich costs about $500 and wondering just how fancy the ostriches must have been that went into Manafort's jacket.

Naturally, the jacket news also inspired some low-grade Photoshopping exercises, like this one of Manafort sporting ostrich wings.

Manafort's jacket now has its own Twitter account under the name "Paul Manafort's (Very Sensitive) Ostrich Coat." True to its word, it's spending most of its time asking people to stop making fun of it.

The Manafort case involves a lot of complicated financial details that are hard to condense into short tweets, so it's no wonder Twitter has wrapped its snarky hands around the ostrich coat. It's got animals. It's got politics. It's got drama. It's everything Twitter loves.

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