It’s officially one year until the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games and in time for the eyes of the world to be firmly set on Japan, the national flag carrier Japan Airlines has unveiled a brand new uniform for cabin crew, pilots, ground staff and engineers. The new uniform is set to be rolled out next April with several months to spare in order to work out any teething issues.
The project is being led by Japenese designer Yasutoshi Ezumi who graduated from Central Saint Martins fashion school in London. Work began on the designs earlier this year after Japan Airlines (JAL) asked for feedback and ideas from passengers and employees on the new look.
Mostly speaking, the design is very traditional and exactly what you would expect from a typically conservative airline such as JAL. The design retains the 1990’s corporate look, with most employees swathed in dark blue fabric with the odd accent of red here or there.
Some of the designs are somewhat questionable – a balloon-shaped sleeve for female cabin crew is interesting but prone to ageing very quickly. Meanwhile, an attempt to make the uniform resemble the curve of a crane (JAL’s brand symbol) may well be lost on the average passenger.
At the very least, however, Japan Airlines has finally relented and introduced a trouser pant option for its female staffers.
Japan Airlines says the designs are “based on a refined and stylish design for professionals providing a safe flight experience and the highest levels of service. The key components of the current uniforms were utilized, which added to the improved functionality of the newly branded wear.”
Materials for the uniforms will be sourced from sustainable sources, while old uniforms will be recycled wherever possible.
Flight crew will be given a new unisex uniform, although, for the first time female pilots will have the option of wearing a single-breasted jacket and neck scarf if they choose.
Traditional Kariyushi Wear in Okinawa
Kariyushi is worn during the summer in Okinawa and five Okinawan flowers including the Deigo flower, have been incorporated into the design. All Kariyushis will be made in Okinawa.
What do you think of JAL’s new look?
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.