Vending Machine Camouflage

The New York Times reports about a Japanese designer, Aya Tsukioka, who has designed clothes that transform into vending-machine costumes. The idea is that if you're being pursued by a criminal, you can quickly transform yourself into a vending machine, and the criminal will hopefully run right past you.
Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine. The wearer hides behind the sheet, printed with an actual-size photo of a vending machine. Ms. Tsukioka’s clothing is still in development, but she already has several versions, including one that unfolds from a kimono and a deluxe model with four sides for more complete camouflaging.

Tsukioka has also designed a "manhole bag," which is a purse that looks like a manhole cover: "Lay it on the street with your wallet inside, and unwitting thieves are supposed to walk right by."

The disguises don't look very convincing, but maybe if it was dark someone would be fooled... unless they saw the feet poking out from the bottom of the costume. Tsukioka herself admits the disguises might be a bit impractical, "especially when your hands are shaking." Still, she's managed to sell about 20 of them, at around $800 each.


Posted on Mon Oct 22, 2007


It may not be a good idea to lay on the street with a manhole suit on. That seems like a good way to get hit by a car to me.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Mon Oct 22, 2007  at  03:17 PM
Sakano, I think you lay the purse on the street. You pretend to be the vending machine and hope the crook chasing you doesn't like the product you're pretending to be.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Mon Oct 22, 2007  at  04:18 PM
Ohh, I get it now. Thanks! I misread that sentence.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Mon Oct 22, 2007  at  04:24 PM
I needed to look at it twice also. I was still thinking "wearable" when I first read it and missed the bit about the purse.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Mon Oct 22, 2007  at  04:49 PM
...why would you like to lay your purse on the ground??? i mean manhole disguise or not, thats asking for it to be stolen
Posted by JoOdd  on  Tue Oct 23, 2007  at  02:17 AM
I want one!!
Posted by Dorima  on  Tue Oct 23, 2007  at  09:27 AM

The Department of Homeland Security should invest in this!

After all, it's a much better self-defense idea than taping plastic around our windows in case of chemical weapons attacks, which our former Secretary of Homeland Security once advised us all to do.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Oct 23, 2007  at  05:56 PM
What I'm wondering is how quickly you could change from the street wear to the vending machine disguise. If you think you see a potential attacker, he probably can see you too. You'd have to duck out of his sight and disguise yourself before he rounded the corner or came through the door, probably within a few seconds.
Posted by Phred22  on  Wed Oct 24, 2007  at  10:18 AM
What I wonder is what will happen if someone tries to buy something from the "machine."
Posted by little gator  on  Wed Oct 24, 2007  at  05:56 PM
A criminal could actually wear this and wait in the alley for the woman to come to him.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Wed Oct 24, 2007  at  06:13 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.