The hottest styles for American kids this season include trendy vests, tank tops and backpacks that can all withstand small lead projectiles hurtling through the air at 1,500 kilometres per hour.
Miguel Caballero, a line of bulletproof clothing based in Bogota, Colombia, has decided to target the U.S. market thanks, in part, to a spate of horrific mass shootings and the U.S. Senate’s response in kind.
Between the drug cartels and revolutionary guerrilla group FARC, Colombia is no stranger to gun violence. And though kidnappings and gun deaths have slowly started to ease in recent years, they’re still a present and disturbing enough reality to render bulletproof clothing for children a necessity for many high profile, wealthy and political Colombian families.
So if a Bogota-based company thinks the current U.S. market is a potential goldmine for sales of children’s bulletproof clothing, this may be the clearest indication that they’re facing a major problem.
But since they’ll be coming to an American store near you, here’s what you can expect from the new MC Kids line.
In addition to a swarm of bullet-resistant threads, their pièce de résistance is a safety vest (that comes in fun, bright colours!) designed to withstand a bullet or knife attack.
"These would basically be in the school and the students could get them. This way a teacher could tell them to put it on at the start of an incident much like when you are on a boat and they tell you to put on a life vest," Caballero tells International Business Times. "So we are thinking about pre, post and during the incident."
Sadly, research shows there’s a real market for Caballero’s kiddy armour. Digital Journal notes that in the weeks following the Newtown school shooting, sales tripled for Utah-based company Amendment II’s body armour backpacks.
And while these fortified clothing items may protect their wearers from a hurtling projectile, this naturally depends on where the bullet lands. Legs, head, face… all still exposed and therefore vulnerable.
Perhaps we won’t really be safe until medieval armour, chainmail and Centurion helmets start coming back into style. Vogue and Elle: here's your idea for September editorials.