Miguel Caballero has reluctantly shot his wife twice in the past nine years.
The Colombian fashion designer has actually shot nearly 230 other people as well, all in an effort to market his high fashion line of bulletproof clothing.
Caballero’s 25-year-old clothing line company is based in Columbia and is being marketed under the name MC Armor in the U.S.. It expanded to Miami a few months ago, according to the Miami Herald. His interesting marketing strategy is designed to show that the stylish clothing is also very effective.
The T-shirts, sports coats and safari jackets are available in gun shops in Texas and California as well as Florida where Caballero’s wife, Carolina Ballesteros, is leading the company’s latest project in an effort to break into the US market.
“I swore to myself I would never do that again,” Caballero said, after he aimed his .38 caliber pistol at his wife, took a deep breath and shot her in the stomach in a promotional video for social media. “But she’s trying to open up the American market, and I’m helping her in every way I can.”
He dug out the bullet from the multiple layers of the top his wife had worn, and she proudly displayed the now mushroomed piece of lead.
“Now I know why doctors should never operate on their own family members,” Caballero said, visibly shaken from the experience.
The 49-year-old’s unconventional method of shooting hundreds to market the clothing has made him a “CEO celebrity in Latin America,” according to the Miami Herald. He has shot journalists, most of his employees, potential clients and even his lawyer. Street magician David Blaine became a target as well during a recent live stage show as Caballero hopes his strategy will eventually land him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The company’s flagship product is a patented lightweight and flexible bulletproof tank top that can be worn under clothing. Starting at $495, it is rated to stop .38-caliber, .22-caliber and 9-millimeter bullets, the Herald reported.
“We’ve been selling at gun stores, to Uber drivers, to doctors, lawyers, professors,” Ballesteros said, impressed with the reception the company has received from US buyers. “People have been very interested in the product.”
According to the Miami Herald:
When Caballero started the enterprise in the 1990s, Colombia was one of the most murderous countries in the hemisphere, and almost everyone seemed to be a potential target. It forced him to make some grim innovations: he produced bulletproof Bible covers for threatened priests, armored backpacks for school children, and once, as a special order, he made a bulletproof kimono.
But as Colombia has grown safer, Caballero has been forced to look abroad. With sales of $25 million last year, about 76 percent of his merchandise is exported.
“If we had to depend on Colombia for business, we would have gone broke a while ago,” he said.
The 4,500-square-foot factory outside of Bogotá has 470 employees. While Mexico and Central America are its top markets, the company also has distributors throughout Africa and the Middle East and recently opened two stores in Iraq. But Caballero expects the U.S. to eventually become the company’s top market with its prolific number of gun owners and gun stores.
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