Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | January 8, 2013

Made in Bogotá bulletproof clothing for children.

In the U.S., the return to school is making parents nervous after the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut in which an insane gunman killed 20 small children and six staffers at a school.

Some parents are taking no chances, and they are ordering bulletproof clothing for their children.

These orders are pouring in for Colombian Miguel Caballero, who is famous for making bulletproof clothing for politicians, businessmen, priests, and journalists in dangerous countries. His new line is tailored for kids aged 8 to 16, with prices ranging from U.S. $200 to $400, depending on the garment and its size.

Miguel’s collections are fashionable enough to be sold at Harrods in London. Each piece is made by measurement uniquely for each customer.

The New Yorker featured his company in 2011.

***

I visited Miguel in 2000 at his clothing factory in Bogotá. He is so sure of the bulletproof quality of his clothing that he has his employees test them. While I was there, people joked that one woman had worked with him for over five years and she had not yet been “shot.”

Miguel asked her if it would be okay if she tested a jacket. She nodded. (Who says no to the boss?)

Miguel tightened a light-feeling jacket around her — clothes must fit snugly for maximum performance — and the woman blushed.

Her heart raced. She might faint any moment.

“You okay?” Miguel asked her again.

She nodded and closed her eyes. She whispered a prayer.

Miguel aimed at her with a .38., and turned the trigger.

He handed me the bullet. Casually.

The woman high-fived a few others around her, and asked me if she could keep the bullet.

She examined the crushed metal and smiled.

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Responses

  1. This is insane–on so many levels!

    • Paloma — Yes, it is. The idea makes me sad.


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