It’s not very often that a flight attendants uniform at an American carrier can be described as exuberating “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking.” But that’s exactly how color experts Pantone describe the shade of purple featured in the new Delta Air Lines uniform that is set to hit airport concourses in May 2018.
A couple of days ago, Pantone announced ‘ultra-violet’ as its color of the year – a shade of purple it describes as “dramatically provocative and thoughtful.” And it just so happens, acclaimed fashion designer, Zac Posen used a remarkably similar color in Delta’s new look uniform which was unveiled earlier this year.
The only difference it would appear, is that Delta opted for a more travel-themed name for its shade of purple – calling the shade ‘passport plum’. Pantone says the shade is perfectly suited to high fashion, saying it “provides a theatrical linkage for both men’s and women’s styles.”
The aircraft aisle really will be a runway for Delta’s flight attendant’s when the airline transitions to the new look next year. Delta has opted for a hard launch, with every member of Delta’s 60,000 uniformed staff changing into their new threads on May 29th, 2018.
Although the airline first unveiled the new look in October 2016, Delta has been keen to avoid the mistakes made by American Airlines and their new uniform disaster. Over 1,000 staffers took part in lengthy wear and tear tests that have taken months, resulting in over 165 changes being made – all in a bid to refine the final designs to perfection.
“When we started this journey almost three years ago, we committed to leveraging employee feedback in every aspect of the new uniform program,” explained Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of uniforms.
“When the Zac Posen team came on board, they were excited for the chance to create something that transforms the brand and incorporates thoughtful touches and changes from the very people who wear the uniforms every day.”
A New York City native, Posen blazed a trail when he unveiled his debut collection in 2001. He is renowned for his vision of modern American glamour which marries couture technique and striking innovation. A red carpet favourite, Posen’s designs have been worn by none other than Uma Thurman, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and pop star Rihanna.
Delta says the striking ‘passport plum’ color is a “regal hue” that is the “ideal balance of historic inspiration yet innovative design.” It combines the airline’s iconic red and blue brand colors which should complement a wide range of skin tones while helping to “carry Delta into the future.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.