"Several times I've shot my wife, I've shot my lawyer, my brothers, and I've shot myself."
No, Miguel Caballero is not a murderer, he's a fashion designer.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Caballero has been producing fashion-oriented bulletproof clothing for world elites since 1992 when he founded his own company. The clothing ranges in style from tank tops, the biggest selling item, to rain coats and suit jackets. At only 7 millimeters in thickness, the bulletproof tank top can withstand twelve bullets, six in the back and six in the front. Jackets and thicker vests can withstand more powerful firearms.
Though this concept may seem far-fetched and questionably unnecessary, Caballero's clothing has become an asset to many world figures. According to the New Yorker, these designs are created for those: "who have security concerns but don’t want to dress like members of a SWAT team." The presidents of Kenya, Nigeria, El Salvador, Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, and Uruguay consistently use Caballero's designs. Also on the list of VIPs are Michael Bloomberg, Steven Seagal, and King Fernando of Spain. It has even been suspected that President Obama wore Miguel Caballero designs for the 2009 inauguration.
From the leaders of the free world to the Colombian National Military, Caballero designs are gaining popularity and utility. According to CNN, Caballero's designs are also certified by the National Institute of Justice, meaning that U.S. government has essentially attested to their effectiveness.
Caballero's designs were inspired by his childhood friend, the daughter of a well-known politician. She was often accompanied by body guards. Caballero noticed that the guards would neglect to wear their bulletproof vests because they were heavy, ugly, and difficult to move in. Following a basic thread of creativity, Caballero saw a problem and imagined an inventive solution. The goal became to create clothes that appeared fashionable but served the function of providing safety to the wearer. The Miguel Caballero team actually invented its own lighter bulletproof material by the late 90's to better accomplish the company's goal.
Miguel Caballero products now sell for a minimum (tank top) of around $1,500. Though these products are obviously not targeted toward regular civilians, their popularity continues to grow, with sales doubling annually in recent years. In the contemporary world of gun violence and acts of terror, safety and style may be more often forced into the same realm.