Got your iPad? Now, how to dress it

It is an iron—or perhaps anodized aluminum—law that any advance in digital technology produces first and foremost more stuff in meatspace. The iPad is no exception: it might get rid of the keyboard and reduce...


You could go basic, and get what Apple offers you. For $39 you get a fake-leather container with extra places to put a few things, like headphones, and of course that famous Eve-just-took-a-bite Apple logo. Standard pilot fish-retailers like Hardcandy and M-Edge offer more nicely styled options, including bubble-patterned, heavy rubber and rugged-looking skins from Hardcandy ($49.95 and $140), and an elegant, messenger bag-style canvas number in different colors with leather accents from M-Edge (available later this month, not yet priced).

Then you can go fashion forward, either by moving towards an all recycled material messenger bag (, not yet priced, made out of billboards), or by having an actual designer piece like the ones sporting a Kenzo floral pattern, produced by LMVH and marketed by in the U.K. for $40. The same retailer also offers a more restrained Paul Smith wool cashmere sleeve for $38. I actually like the street-art like offerings from, which include wrap-around graphics inspired by Japanese comics and graffiti (not yet available).

From left, iPad cases from Substrata and Orbino.

Go up-market, and you can encase your iPad either in wood, in a version by (not yet available) with stripes, or plain and clunky (, $80), or in leather—my favorite is the $128 sleeve by, available in kid leather dyed in soft colors with either a silk or a felt interior. Top of the line—in price, not design—are the showy sleeves by Ostrich for $569 or crocodile for $689. As a walking design cliché, I am holding out for the Prada version, or maybe something commissioned by Moss in New York. As an Apple slave since 1983, I am also waiting for the second or third generation before getting the latest gadget. Innovation, after all, like a good leather case, takes time to get comfortable.

Critic, curator and museum director Aaron Betsky curated the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, ran Rotterdam’s Netherlands Architecture Institute from 2001-2006 and these days, helms the Cincinnati Art Museum. See his previous blogs HERE and check back on Thursday for his next post.