January 6 2023  |  Airline & Terminal News

British Airways unveils revamped uniforms

By Alex Preston

British Airways’ new uniforms draw inspiration from the airline, its staff and the experience of flight

British Airways unveiled a new uniform today, the first refresh in nearly 20 years, replacing the previous uniform designed by Julien MacDonald OBE.

British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE spent four years developing the new collection which features a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim fit style trousers and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit — an airline first. A tunic and hijab option has also been created for the global carrier.

The airwave pattern that features across the entire uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speed marque.

In an accompanying press release, Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Our uniform is an iconic representation of our brand, something that will carry us into our future, representing the very best of modern Britain and helping us deliver a great British original service for our customers. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”

To bespoke fabrics and designs for the collection, Boateng shadowed a number of airport roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job and ensure a modern British, stylish look with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.

The uniforms have been tested in secret over the last six months in the air and on the ground. Many of the outdoor garments have also been tested in deluge showers and freezers at -18 degrees Celsius to ensure they’re water resistant, durable and fit for extreme weather conditions. The trials have led to the incorporation of feedback ahead of the rollout, including easy access tool pockets for engineers and touch-screen technology fabric in the gloves of ground handlers, so they can use their devices in cold climates without having to take them off. The pockets on the apron have also been widened so cabin crew have more room for everything needed during meal services on board.

In today’s release, Boateng said: “Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an energetic shift internally. One of my main objectives was to create something that spoke to, and for, the airline’s colleagues. Something that inspired and empowered them, encouraged them to conduct their roles with pride and most importantly to ensure that they felt seen and heard.”

More than 90% of the garments are produced using sustainable fabric from blends of recycled polyester. As part of British Airways’ BA Better World commitment to work with sustainable suppliers, the airline is only working with manufacturers that are members of the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative.

The collection of garments will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline’s colleagues from Spring 2023, with the airline’s engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniform. All British Airways’ cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a switch over date from their current uniform to the new one in Summer 2023.

The old uniforms will be donated to charity or recycled to create toys, tablet holders and more, with a number of items gifted to the airline’s museum.

Copyright 2024 PAX International. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Sitemap