VIRGIN ATLANTIC SKY HIGH FASHION – VIVIENNE WESTWOOD UNIFORMS
As you can see here – I am still furthering my dream of being a passenger one day in a Virgin Atlantic flight in both my day and nighttime dreams. Well, my dream flight attendants did look very fashionable and now I know why! Maybe I will get to view them in real life one day. I will be heading to London to the ILTM Spa event and partnering with them and Tatler Magazine. Hey Virgin Atlantic this luxury gal needs a luxury trip to London this fall. A spa travel gal can dream can’t she? Well in the mean time, take a look at these amazing new uniforms from Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic passengers will get a sneak peek of the airline’s new threads when wearer trials of the Vivienne Westwood uniform beginning this week at airports, in Clubhouses and on-board aircraft.
Over 180 specially-selected staff, including Virgin Atlantic crew, pilots, ground staff, Clubhouse and Virgin Holiday employees, will trial the uniform for a number of months to ensure it is both comfortable and practical before the designs and fabrics are finalized and sent to the manufacturer.
Staff will provide feedback after each flight or shift so adjustments can be made ahead of the full launch in 2014. The uniform will be assessed on fit, comfort, breathability, ease of movement, creasing before and after shifts, look and feel after laundering and how the uniform handles marks and stains.
Luke Miles, Head of Design for Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Our staff, and particularly our cabin crew, are some of the most envied in the airline industry when it comes to uniforms. Our iconic red outfits are globally renowned and when we make changes to the design, it isn’t something we take lightly. These wearer trials are a key part of the feedback process we engage in with our teams around with world. The uniforms have to look sleek, all the while being practical and easy to wear – it’s a challenging design brief but means so much to our staff and customers, so we have to make sure we get it right. We’re confident our Vivienne Westwood designs will continue to turn heads in the airport and in the sky.”
Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic announced its partnership with leading British designer Vivienne Westwood to redesign the airline’s uniform across all areas of the business. With original design and sustainability being vital factors to both Richard Branson and Vivienne Westwood, this long-term partnership aims to bring these ideals together in an exciting and innovative collaboration.
Vivienne Westwood and her team had a number of practical challenges to consider when designing the airline’s new look. Approximately 7,500 staff wear the Virgin Atlantic uniform in different climates around the world; the garments need to cater for staff working in New York during the winter, as well as high summer season in Mumbai. Staff also carry out a variety of roles with differing levels of movement required, so the uniform must also be comfortable.
Fabrics must be durable in order to withstand constant wear and tear. For the suiting garments, the team have used fabrics with cutting-edge nano-technology, which repels stains and enables clothing to retain its color and finish longer; therefore fabrics retain their shape over time and look pristine.
With sustainability a key factor in this new design, all items are being development with Closed Loop Recycling in mind. This new technology takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibers that can be woven into new fabrics and in turned into new clothing
Virgin Atlantic uniform facts
- All ties and scarfs must be quick-release for health and safety reasons
- Crew walk an average of seven miles on each flight, so it’s important shoes are comfortable
- Many items of the new uniform will be produced using recycled materials, such as polyester yarn made from used plastic bottles
- Crew must go through a 5.5 week training course to earn their Vivienne Westwood designed wings and uniform
- All crew must carry a torch and spare batteries
- All shoes must have a non-slip sole and be SATRA (Shoe and Allied Trade Research Association) tested and approved
- Although male shoes have laces, they are designed to easily slip off in case of a slide evacuation (and makes for a quicker trip through TSA checkpoints!)