Vivienne Westwood to design new Virgin Atlantic uniforms

2 May 2013 by BusinessTraveller

Virgin Atlantic has partnered with iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood to create new uniforms for its male and female staff.

The carrier said that Westwood plans a futuristic look for the new “Red Threads”, while at the same time referencing “her enduring interest in 40’s French couture cutting techniques as well as the Savile Row tailoring heritage”.

Sir Richard Branson said that Virgin’s current uniform “has been around for more than ten years and we have seen other airlines start to copy it”, and added that “When we were choosing the designer for this project, we wanted to work with a group of people who share our spirit of adventure, who believe in challenging the status quo and creating something truly memorable”.

The new female cabin crew uniform retains the Virgin red, with a jacket which “enhances the female form with the aid of cleverly placed bust pleats, a nipped in waist and a curved hip line”, and a pencil skirt which “looks deceptively simple from the front then reveals a cheeky dart and double pleat at the back”.

The male uniform features a three-piece suit “in rich burgundy wool”, with shadow details in grey wool under the lapels and pockets.

As well as cabin crew, Virgin staff including pilots, Clubhouse staff and Virgin Holidays employees will receive Westwood-designed uniforms. From July 2013 cabin crew and ground staff will trial the new uniforms, providing feeback so that “tweaks can be made ahead of the full launch in 2014”.

Virgin said that parts of the uniforms will be made using recycled materials, including recycled polyester yarn from used plastic bottles, and recycled bags for ground staff, produced through the Ethical Africa Programme and using recycled canvas, roadside banners, leather off-cuts and trecycled brass.

The news follows last month’s unveiling of new Qantas uniforms (see online news April 16). Created by Australian designer Martin Grant, they will feature a predominantly navy suiting, with hints of Qantas red in diagonal stripes across tops and dresses for women and on men’s ties.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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