The final race in the 2017 Formula One calendar is taking place this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit – home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Which can only mean one thing? The famous Etihad Grid Girls will once again be making an appearance, highlighting Etihad Airways as the title sponsor of the iconic race.
The airline unveiled the new look uniform across social media yesterday, getting American supermodel and former Victoria’s Secret angel, Chanel Iman to model the gorgeous skintight black jumpsuit with gold detailing.
This year, Etihad has teamed up with New York-based, Nepalese-American fashion designer, Prabal Gurung to create the stunning new look which will be worn by 50 serving Etihad cabin crew. Gurung has blazed a trail on the New York fashion scene and his designs have been worn by the likes of former First Lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Interestingly, Gurung is also known for his collection of ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ and other similar slogan t-shirts. Where his decision to design the Grid Girls uniform falls into this narrative is unclear.
Fans have reacted positively to the new look with users taking to social media to make their feelings known. One said the design was “simply gorgeous” while another simply said “Très chic.”
This will be the ninth Abu Grand Prix which has established itself as a fan favourite. The challenging course and combination of a day and night race can result in some nailbiting results.
Etihad Airways has been a major sponsor of the race ever since Abu Dhabi won the rights to host the event in 2009. It’s famous Grid Girls have appeared at every race ever since – always modelling a specially commissioned uniform for the delay. Past designs have ranged from demure to what could best be described as trashy.
But it looks like Etihad’s new worldwide sponsorship of major fashion shows is starting to pay dividends with this year’s jaw-droppingly stylish design by Gurung.
Not that Etihad Airways is the only airline to present its female cabin crew at a Grand Prix. Singapore Airways also lends a hand at the Singapore Grand Prix with a team of its so-called ‘Singapore Girls’ cabin crew.