The high style and glamour of the golden age of flying are making a comeback. Airlines around the world are redesigning their flight attendant uniforms from utilitarian to fashion forward.
No, you’re not looking at a fashion show entrance. It’s Air New Zealand’s flight crew rocking their colorful uniforms by fashion designer Trelise Cooper. The bold pink pattern has received mixed reviews from passengers and flight attendants alike. But there’s no problem spotting this cabin crew a mile away, that’s for sure.
Banana Republic was tasked with making over Virgin America’s flight attendant uniforms. The result is a “utility chic” collection that includes leather jackets, trench coats, zip cardigans and shirt dresses. The signature silk charmeuse scarves will be sold on the ground as well in select Banana Republic stores.
While some airlines are trying to sex-up their flight attendant uniforms, German flag carrier Lufthansa dons its flight attendants in conservative and classic navy jackets and caps, with just a pop of color -- yellow neck scarves for the women and yellow ties for the men.
Australian designer Peter Morrissey created the current Qantas uniform, with its distinctive boomerang print. Qantas isn’t stopping there: Always fashion-forward, with past designs from Pucci to YSL, Qantas next plans to unveil new designs for its cabin crew and ground staff in 2014.
Its bold red-and-purple uniforms are just one of several ways that Virgin Australia (formerly Virgin Blue) has sought to refresh its image over the past few years. In 2011, Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson debuted the new flight attendant uniforms -- a sexier, more glamorous ’60s-inspired look.
After many evolutions over the decades, Korean Air’s current uniform, designed by Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre, blends modern, sleek fabrics with Korean’s traditional elegant and supple lines. The current uniform is even reported to be extremely comfortable for long international flights.
Porter Airlines, a boutique Canadian airline, is known for its extra touches like complimentary Canadian microbrews in real glasses and fresh muffins in the morning. Its retro flight attendant uniforms are just as noteworthy and refined, especially the pillbox hats.
With the launch of daily flights from Brussels Airport to JFK, Brussels Airlines has given its flight attendants a bold new look, swapping their traditional blue-and-white uniform for a striking red number. The New York Ambassadors, as this flight crew is called, even carry stylish red bags with the words, “I’ll Take Manhattan.”