The insolvent Italian airline Alitalia has barely had it’s current employee uniform for two years and yet the loss-making carrier is in the midst of a massive redesign in collaboration with acclaimed designer, Alberta Ferretti. And now we have the first look of what the uniform will look like in the form of two rough sketches which have just been released by the design house.
According to WWD, the Italian dressmaker will officially unveil the new look uniform on 15th June at Milan Men’s Fashion Week. The launch event will take place at the Palazzo Reale, during which Ferretti will also showcase her resort 2019 and demi-couture limited-edition collections.
“This is a unique and exciting project that I took to heart from the very beginning,” Ferretti has been reported as saying of the project.
Alitalia first said it had commissioned Alberta Ferretti for the design challenge in November last year, explaining that the designer had been tasked to create a look which could combine “elegance and convenience.” The announcement took many by surprise given the fact that the airline only unveiled its current uniform iteration in May 2016.
That look, by Italian Haute couturier Ettore Bilotta was bankrolled by Persian Gulf carrier, Etihad Airways as part of a major turnaround plan for the troubled airline. Etihad, who had been a major investor in Italy’s largest airline, pulled the plug on its investment last year. The decision by the Abu Dhabi-based airline plunged Alitalia into bankruptcy.
But the fact that Alitalia is losing millions of Euro’s a day and is eating into a massive government-backed bailout fund doesn’t seem to put the airline off its decision to commission yet another designer uniform.
Ettore Bilotta’s Altialia uniform was said to represent the “essence of Italy” but despite efforts to use fabric cuts which would suit all, the design was disliked by the airlines workers.
Despite the fact that the Ettore Bilotta-designed uniform was generally very well received by passengers, reports suggest that Alitalia staffers were less than impressed with the look. While many admitted that it looked good, some complained that it was uncomfortable and impractical – especially for cabin crew.
Alitalia said the uniform needed to be replaced due to “natural wear and tear” and as such a “uniform restocking” was necessary. The airline said it wanted to launch the new-look by Summer 2018. There hasn’t yet been any word on how much the project has cost the airline (or should that be the Italian taxpayer?).