Far from your typical day at the office, we found ourselves with guns in hand this morning at Ajax Rod and Gun Club. The occasion? Toronto-based luxury bespoke tailoring house Garrison Bespoke launched the first fashion-forward bulletproof suit with a live ammo field-testing event. Is a bulletproof far-fetched for the typical Toronto young professional (YP) guy? Perhaps. But there’s a market for it.
“After receiving requests from high-profile clients who travel to dangerous places for work, we set out to develop a lightweight, fashion-forward bulletproof suit as a more discreet and stylish alternative to wearing a bulky vest underneath,” said Michael Nguyen, co-owner and bespoke tailor of Garrison Bespoke. “It’s an extreme example of the work we do in the shop, which is all based on client feedback.”
Fashionable, perfectly tailored and unassuming, your bulletproof protection can be your little secret. You don’t want to offend potential clients and partners with an annoying, bulky bulletproof vest, after all. That may not send the right message. On Garrison’s bulletproof suit, the patented material is thinner, more flexible and 50 per cent lighter than Kevlar, which is traditionally used for bulletproof gear. Even so, it can stop up to a 45mm handgun.
An added bonus? The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit also protects against stabbing – the carbon nanotubes harden on impact preventing a knife from penetrating. The bulletproof suit is made with carbon nanotubes created using nanotechnology and originally developed to protect the US 19th Special Forces in Iraq.
When the suit was shot both front and back by a firearms expert (sans a live model, which would have made it all the more exciting), it’s safe to say that the test was a success.
“It stopped all the bullets, none of them actually penetrated through the actual suit,” said Nguyen. “The force of bullets was dissipated throughout the chest piece. If someone is shot with this suit on, they will be able to flee the scene and escape.”
He tells us that often times when people are shot with full traditional protection, they will fall to the ground from the force of the bullet. This, of course, invites the opportunity to get shot in the head. As the bulletproof suit dissipates the force, you can escape easier and live to tell the story.
Garrison Bespoke’s new collection, Town & Country, is inspired by the great outdoors and offers something for every YP on every occasion. “We have a suit for the finance guys, ones for the tech and entrepreneurial set, others that are more for black tie galas,” says Nguyen. Each piece in the new collection can be made bulletproof by request. As if looking suave in a suit wasn’t enough, think about the extra confidence boost added from that type of security.
So, who’s the expected customer? “We’ve had a number of requests for them,” says Nguyen. “There are two types of customer, one who is purchasing the suit for actual application when travelling to dangerous parts of the world for business, and the second are people who love tech and are looking for a unique talking point, something to display in closet.”
The cost of a Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit starts at $20,000. “Is a 20,000-dollar suit worth it?” asks Nguyen. “Well, how can you put a price on your life and on your safety?” When you think about it, a last-minute flight in business class can cost almost as much for those who can afford it. Now all we need is a bulletproof dress. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton is elected as president…