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British Airways Reveals First New Uniform Collection in Nearly 20 Years

British Airways has today unveiled a new uniform range which will be rolled out to over 30,000 team members from spring 2023. The collection has been designed by British Savile Row fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng, OBE.


British Airways Unveils New Uniforms for More Than 30,000 Colleagues - Courtesy British Airways

On Friday (January 6, 2023), British Airways unveiled their first new uniform collection in nearly 20 years, which will be rolled out to over 30,000 team members from spiring 2023. The new uniform range has been designed by British, Ghanaian Savile Row fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE. Mr. Boateng spent time shadowing airline colleagues across various roles to create the collection, and over 1,500 British Airways’ team members provided input and testing over the past four years, both on the ground and in the air. The bespoke fabrics and designs for the collection take inspiration from the carrier’s people and the experience of flight.


In Friday’s announcement, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle, said,


“Our uniform is an iconic representation of our brand, something that will carry us into our future, representing the very best of modern Britain and helping us deliver a great British original service for our customers. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”


Also commenting on the design collaboration, British Fashion Designer and Master Tailor, Ozwald Boateng, OBE, said,


“Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an energetic shift internally. One of my main objectives was to create something that spoke to, and for, the airline’s colleagues. Something that inspired and empowered them, encouraged them to conduct their roles with pride and most importantly to ensure that they felt seen and heard. Although the airline has a strong heritage, it was imperative to support in creating a fresh narrative of change and transcendence, while remaining timeliness.”


British Airways’ cabin crew member Emma Carey, who secretly trialed the new uniform, added,


“It’s been a real honour and responsibility to help test the new uniform and put it through its paces at 35,000ft to make sure it’s fit for purpose, with thousands of my colleagues counting on me. It was great to see that adjustments were made after our feedback. The pockets on the apron, for example, were widened after the trial so we had more room for everything we need during meal services on board. I can't wait for our customers to see the new collection.”


British Airways Unveils New Bespoke Uniform Prgram Designed by Savile Row Fashion Designer and Master Tailor, Ozwald Boateng, OBE - Courtesy British Airways


The collection features a three-piece suit for me with the option of a regular or slim fit trousers, and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, plus a modern jumpsuit, a first for the carrier. Additionally, a tunic and hijab option has been created for the global airline. An ‘airwave’ pattern is featured across the entire collection, including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties, which was inspired by the movement of air over the wing of an aircraft. The jacquard fabric across the tailored garments features a variation of British Airways’ iconic speedmarque.


Ozwald Boateng has been developing the collection with painstaking care since 2018. By shadowing team members in various roles, he ensured a modern and stylish British look with high-quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for. To make sure each garment was fit for purpose, the uniforms were secretly tested over the past six months, with cabin and flight crew uniforms put through their paces on cargo flights across Europe. Engineers have also been secretly wearing the new uniforms while maintaining aircraft out of sight at Manchester and Cotswold airports. Additionally, outdoor garments were tested in deluge showers and freezers at -18 degrees Celsius to ensure durability and water resistance, even in the most extreme weather conditions.


British Airways' New Bespoke Uniform Collection Examples - Courtesy British Airways


With sustainability central to the design process, over 90 percent of the garments have been produced using fabric from blends of recycled polyester. Additionally, the airline is working exclusively with manufacturers who are members of the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton. British Airways’ engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniforms from spring 2023, while cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will switch over to the new uniforms in summer 2023. As team members pick up their new uniform items, they will turn in their current Julien MacDonald garments, which will be donated to charity or repurposed to create toys, tablet holders and more. A number of the current uniform items will also be donated to the airline’s museum.



Source: British Airways

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