How much is that armored Armani? Bogota taylor specialize in bulletproof fashion wear

Published 5 February 2010

Talk about a fashion statement. The latest hot thing in Colombia: bulletproof fashion wear; Bogota tailor counts many South American leading politicians – and their wives – among his clients; the tailor, Miguel Caballero, says that he sees a receptive U.S. constituency for his ware: “the hip-hop people maybe will be a big market”; if you want to apply for a job with Caballero, be warned: after a garment is finished, a company employee puts it on and the company owner shoots the employee; if the employee survives, the garment is sold to the celebrity who placed the order for it

This Miguel Caballero polo shirt will stop shots from an Uzi submachine gun // Source: markstechnologynews.com

In Bogota, Colombia, Miguel Caballero has found a fashion niche that may make him the choice tailor to VIPs around the world: bulletproof fashion wear, reports VBS.TV’s correspondent Ryan Duffy:

Miguel explained his business model to me, and it was hard to dispute the logic. The world’s an increasingly dangerous place for political leaders and citizens alike. Miguel is simply combining the need for safety with the natural desire to look good.

And judging by his success, I’m not the only one who gets it. There were rumors that President Obama wore some of Miguel’s goods during his inauguration. Plus, look at the automobile industry. Not long ago, Hummers were the province of soldiers in combat. Today, they’re a staple of suburban strip malls. How long until Miguel’s pieces follow suit?

Matthew Harwood writes that Caballero’s clients include some of the continent’s biggest and most controversial leaders: Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Peruvian president Alan Garcia, and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Bogota’s most unique tailor believes certain demographics in the United States will also clamor for his guerilla practicality and fashionista trendiness.

You can find many targets in USA,” he said. “For example, the hip-hop people maybe will be a big market.”

To ensure quality control, Caballero does something that may make prospective employees think twice about submitting their application. “I shoot all of my employees, and I have received two times the test,” Caballero told VBS.TV.

Harwood notes that Duffy earns some journalism credibility and respect by undergoing the test himself. “We’re going to take it for a test ride,” he said. “Miguel, shoot me.”

You can watch Duffy’s dispatch…and shooting, here.

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