British Airways will finally roll out its brand new uniform for cabin crew and customer-facing staff on September 28, 2023, nearly four years later than originally expected due to a lengthy pandemic delay and last-minute design alterations following the grand reveal earlier this year, which left many staff less than impressed.
Some BA employees shared the news on social media platform X, explaining that cabin crew leaving London on September 28 will be the first to wear the Ozwald Boateng-designed threads.
Cabin crew who leave London before September 28, however, will still be wearing the old uniform on their return flights, and it’s believed there are still a small number of employees who haven’t yet received their new garments.
Years in the making, ex-creative director of menswear at French fashion house Givenchy and Saville Row Brit designer Ozwald Boateng was commissioned to design the new BA uniform back in 2018.
At the time, it was hoped that Boateng’s designs would be on the backs of BA staffers the following year and in time for the airline’s prestigious centenary celebrations.
A costly and highly embarrassing strike by pilots, however, delayed the launch until early 2020, at which point the pandemic struck. The new uniform was quickly shelved, and the airline wasn’t ready or willing to resurrect the expensive project until earlier this year when the design was eventually unveiled in January.
The uniform features a bespoke ‘airwave’ pattern, which is woven into the fabric used throughout the final collection.
The female uniform collection includes mix and match blazer, skirt, trousers, blouse and dress, as well as a striking all-navy jumpsuit – a world first for any airline, although the jumpsuit isn’t yet ready and might be launched until the end of 2023 at the earliest.
The male uniform is a classic three-piece suit in a navy blue, accented by a bright red necktie.
In 2018, Boateng said that he hoped the project would give him the opportunity to demonstrate “his skills as a designer”, although the eventual rollout was delayed from the early summer until September due to last-minute changes that had to be made to certain garments.
Some of those changes were based on feedback from employees who gave the collection a pretty mixed response when it was unveiled in January. The airline has since admitted that the personal taste of some employees might differ from Boateng’s but staffers have been warned about posting negative comments on social media.
British Airways says that negative comments shared by some employees do not represent the general opinion of workers who have been ‘impressed’ by the quality of the fabric used in the new uniform.
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.