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Bullet-proof clothing: a sign of the times

get a pardon
by Kirk_J

Article by Sandy Cosser

Some people make their living making enemies. Think of political or religious leaders and high profile rap artists. Few days pass when they don’t offend a fanatical group or organisation. Hiring a large entourage of bodyguards may keep potential offenders of bodily harm from getting close enough to do damage, but they won’t stop a determined sniper’s bullet. For these VIPs, as well as their bodyguards, body armour is the only real measure of protection that they have, provided potential assassins don’t go for the head. VIPs usually work hard to attain that status and enjoy the accompanying perks, which include dressing the part. But a chunky vest does nothing to improve the cut of an expensive suit. Stopping bullets is all good and well, but at what cost to style?

An enterprising individual from Bogotá, Colombia, Miguel Caballero, has taken conventional body armour and given it a runway makeover. Caballero recognises that while executives and spies need the benefit of bullet-proof clothing, they also require a measure of sophistication and style. As Caballero says, they make bullet-proof fashion.

It’s estimated that last year Caballero sold million (£3.5 million) worth of his designer bullet-proof range, including trench coats, business suits, suede jackets, denim casuals and a special line in women’s clothing.

Caballero started out using the bullet-proof mainstay, Kevlar, in his designs, but he found the weight and bulk of the material prohibitive. His first jacket weighed a hefty 11 pounds (5 kg). Undaunted, Caballero simply developed and patented a new type of bullet-proof material that is light enough to create bullet-proof t-shirts, which are favoured by the President of Columbia. Using this new material the jacket that used to weigh 11 pounds, now weighs only 2.6 pounds (1 kg), hardly any more than a conventional jacket that you would buy from any conventional clothing store.

In January 2006, Caballero decided to introduce his unique fashion to a wider public audience with his first runway show in Guadalajara, Mexico. The show was a hit, if you’ll pardon the pun, selling more clothing in one month than he had projected for the entire year. It also helped to establish Caballero’s high-end boutique situated in one of Mexico City’s more exclusive shopping districts. The boutique shares street space with Armani, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany, who may or may not be pleased at the prospect.

It’s doubtful whether Caballero gives much consideration to his high-end neighbours’ feelings as he feels that he has a valuable product and is determined to sell it. His methods, however, are somewhat extreme. To establish absolute faith in his products, he’s been known to have employees don a bullet-proof Caballero jacket and then take shots at them.

It’s difficult to tell which is scarier, Caballero, or the demand for his products.

Recommended site:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/08/01/8382235/index.htm

About the Author

Sandra wrote this article for the online marketers Dickies Store functional protective clothing one of the most successful protective clothing stores in the UK

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