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Aegean Airlines Understands What Makes a Good Flight Attendant Uniform… It’s Like a Theatrical Costume

Aegean Airlines Understands What Makes a Good Flight Attendant Uniform… It’s Like a Theatrical Costume

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Aegean Airlines may just be a relatively small European carrier with a fleet of around 61 single-aisle aircraft, but its bold new uniform, unveiled on Monday as part of a collaboration with Greek brand Zeus+Δione, has certainly made an oversized splash.

Designer Marios Schwab has done a good job of incorporating the colors of the Greek sky and sea into the uniform collection, but it is perhaps Schwab’s use of geometric asymmetric cuts and contrasting linear accents that really make the garments stand out, resulting in observers likening the uniforms to something you might see in Star Trek.

The airline says it wanted to create a uniform that promotes diversity and inclusion with a range of mix-and-match options for cabin crew, pilots and ground staff to choose from. But at its core, Schwab really understood the brief of what makes a good airline uniform – make it stand out.

There are a variety of ways that designers can go about making a uniform stand out, some far more successful than others, but the key here is designing a uniform which isn’t just clothing but a costume designed for actors to wear on stage… it’s just that, in this case, the stage is an airplane aisle or airport concourse.

This costuming of airline staff is far from new, although it’s something that airlines have shied away from in recent years.

The incredibly bold uniforms of the 1960s, like Emilio Pucci’s space-age designs for Braniff International or the hot pants worn by Southwest’s flight attendants, may be long gone, but the most iconic and instantly recognizable airline uniforms still have costume-like elements.

The uniform worn by Emirates cabin crew is essentially just a simple beige suit, but passengers can instantly recognize Emirates flight attendants in a crowded airport with their bright red pillbox style hats, which incorporate an exotic sheer white scarf which wraps loosely across the neck.

Think of iconic, memorable airline uniforms and costuming nearly always plays a part – The Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya, the Dirndl’s and lederhosen worn by Lufthansa to celebrate Oktoberfest, the bright red high heels worn by Virgin Atlantic cabin crew or the bows that adorn the Christian Lacroix-designed uniform dresses for Air France.

More recently and more often than not, uniform designers have relied on bright colors to make their designs stand out, although with limited success.

Delta Air Lines, for example, rolled out a relatively simple uniform dress in 2018 but chose a bright ‘Passport Plum’ purple to make it stand out. Unfortunately, the garment caused myriad alleged health issues and was eventually replaced with a dull gun metal gray dress.

Uniforms made out of swathes of navy blue, black or gray fabric have sadly become increasingly common, although bold design choices are often misunderstood by frontline staffers who don’t understand the competing requirements of an airline’s uniform.

Yes, garments should be comfortable and durable and make staff feel great wearing them, but they shouldn’t be mistaken for the kind of clothes that employees would choose to wear in an office environment… airline uniforms should be much more fun than that.

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