I recently received this surprising press release discussing how Emirates’ new cabin crew uniform has been rolled out.
“In an industry first, the premium brand airline choose to hand responsibility of the design to its UK based manufacturer, Simon Jersey, rather than a world renowned fashion house; and saved itself millions of pounds in the process.”
It’s unclear what Emirates’ motivation was–save money? get a more practical design?–but it occurs in an era where premium carriers boast of their designers. Singapore Airlines’ iconic dress is the work of Pierre Balmain, Korean Air enlisted Gianfranco Ferre, and Air France hired local countryman Christian Lacroix.
On the other end of the scale, Easyjet had its staff collaborate on a new uniform.
Here’s Emirates’ new uniform:
From the press release:
Using colours and fabrics that mirrored the elegance of the Emirates brand the Simon Jersey team introduced new cuts and detail to improve the look and comfort of all elements of the uniform.
A rich chocolate colour suit with a subtle cream and red pinstripe was chosen for male staff. This is complemented by a cream coloured shirt with a brown tie that has diagonal red stripes. The purser has a brown and cream tie so he is distinguishable from the other cabin crew.
Female staff are now wearing an elegant mushroom coloured suit, with a chocolate and red pinstripe. A cream blouse has been trimmed with red for the cabin crew and cream for the pursers. Hats also differentiate the staff with crew wearing red and pursers sporting a chocolate brown.
An inverted pleat on the skirts shows a flash of red when the ladies are walking, further enhancing the brand recognition.
The change is in the details, so don’t be surprised if you don’t immediately recognise the difference. For reference, here’s a photo of the old uniform: