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Airlines: Why putting so much emphasis on cabin crew uniform and appearance ?

Airlines: Why Putting so much Emphasis on Cabin Crew Uniform and Appearance ? By Ahmed Haouaria

29 Jan 2020

              Is it only for all operating cabin crew members to wear the operator's uniform and be identifiable to the passengers?


The French writer Henri Jeanson once said: "The first impression is often the right one, especially when it is bad". His maxim is still valid, and if making a good impression from the start is important in a business meeting, or a job interview, it is just as important for a company whose perceived image will be that of its staff. 

If you take the plane, it is not only for its speed but above all by the quality of the service. The cabin crew must ensure safety on board; and before boarding, they must carry out very meticulous checks of the aircraft and cabin equipment. Faced with these important roles, the presentation of flight attendants must be impeccable, the uniforms must be chosen with care. Likewise, flight attendants should be well-groomed and presentable and in perfect appearance. Like all contact staff, stewardesses and stewards are airline representatives, which is what passengers see first when they board the aircraft.


Wearing the flight attendant uniform as a country ambassador

The flight attendant and uniform enhance the brand/ image of the country's airline and it is also, in a way, the appropriate dress to represent the country in a foreign land. The flight attendant in their uniform symbolizes the sovereignty of their country and are country ambassadors. The uniform of pilots and cabin crew represents the identity, modernism, and dynamism of the airline. It clearly expresses the importance attached by the company to the care of the passenger who entrusts the company, his/her well-being during the flight time. The airline uniform is a means of conveying this image of safety and at the same time conviviality to customers. The uniforms of airline staff must inspire confidence in the care of the passenger. A beautiful uniform is reassuring, it is essential for the quality and prestige of the airline.

Uniforms: A means to enhance the company image

The flight attendant uniform often shows a certain elegance. A combination of colors, cuts, and styles that varies according to companies. Over the past few years, flight attendant uniforms have kept pace with fashion. However, each company must find the perfect uniform for cabin crew. Uniforms that first reflects his own identity. For the passengers, the flight attendants are both welcoming friendly and well dressed. To preserve the image of the company, many design houses specialize in making uniforms for flight attendants and stewards. Some companies have their own design house, which makes uniforms exclusively for the airline. The uniform must be easy to wear and work in. The uniforms are also stylish, in keeping with the image of the company.

The uniforms of airline staff are very representative of the specificities of these companies. They must be in perfect harmony with the collective imagination of the airline businesses whose representations are clear. Commercial aviation has historically been attached to a luxury image compared to other transportation modes. Although the democratization of air transport and low-cost companies has generalized on an international scale, it remains a means of transport whose luxurious aura will keep it above other means of transport.

Cabin crew: simple elegance and functionality

Generally, the uniform must be well adapted to each season ... But apart from the standard, some companies are inspired by the local traditional dress of the country to produce the flight attendants uniform.  Malaysian airlines which are considered as one of the most beautiful Airline uniforms. The airline's cabin crew uniform is unique as it perfectly reflects Malaysian culture and tradition. The design is also inspired by our local flowers such as the hibiscus. 

The original outfit was designed in 1986 and was revamped in 1993 with the colors that it is today. The design has stood the test of time, making it one of the most iconic aviation uniforms.   From the origins of the flight attendant profession, uniforms have truly followed clothing trends. Whatever the airline, it is very easy to find from what period dates a particular uniform. Uniforms are an integral part of the brand image of an airline. They must be elegant and style while being practical for possible safety needs, chic, ultra-fashion and conveying the values ​​and the image of the airline. This is why we are witnessing a real race for the companies competing to have the most beautiful uniform. The most fashion designers are responsible for designing these collections. Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Emilio Pucci, and other big names in fashion design have designed the uniforms of the biggest companies. The new collections are also presented as real fashion shows, like during Fashion Week.

The flight attendant uniforms: a high quality and marketing tool

It is important to make the cabin crew uniform with the best quality material, which is to say with an elastic fabric that is flexible and comfortable, easy to take care of and which does not tarnish during frequent washing and ironing. The flight uniform must always be on top even after long hours of flight after a long-haul flight, therefore made with premium, wrinkle-resistant and impeccable fabric. Far from being limited to a simple "work clothing", the uniform is becoming more and more a marketing tool for companies, especially transport. Both a reflection of an era, it can sometimes go so far as to embody a social issue. If companies are careful not to disclose the cost of uniforms new launch, they all agree that this is a very important element. For Air France, for example, this outfit is intended to reflect "French elegance with simplicity". To embody this image, the company turned to haute couture. "It was Dior in 1962, Balenciaga in 1969 or Nina Ricci in 1978, and recently Christian Lacroix", recalls Sylvie Tarbouriech. According to her, the difficulty is to be in the trend "while having a certain timelessness so as not to be out of date".

"Beyond being a work garment, which has very specific technical prerequisites, it is a garment which conveys the values ​​of the brand, its philosophy, its target", analyzes Nathalie Rozborski, director of fashion and beauty advice at Nelly Rodi, a trends firm, who designed Corsair's uniforms. "This image garment has become a tool in its own right in a business strategy, as well as a logo or an advertising campaign. It is all the more important that contact with the consumer is immediate". "We embody the brand when we wear the uniform."

The Turkish Airlines case

The new uniforms of the cabin crew of the Turkish national airline were designed to celebrate the 85th anniversary in 2018 of the airline which serves the most countries in the world. Since August 6, 2019,  Turkish Airlines cabin wears a new uniform. "In red and anthracite gray colors like the company flag, the uniforms have been rigorously tested on long-haul flights and in different climates," said Turkish Airlines in a press release. They have been adapted to the 25,000 employees so that they can comfortably serve passengers.

Inspired by many classic elements of Turkish design and culture, the new uniforms incorporate traditional patterns found in handcrafted glassware, ceramics, and calligraphy with contemporary textures and details. The collection combines shapes and colors in the Istanbul Bosphorus. The global airline, which flies to more countries than any other, collaborated with Italian designer Ettore Bilotta to create the new dynamic design, heralds a new era and visual identity for the national flag carrier.

Unique and recognizable with deep red and an anthracite gray palette, the collection that combines form and function, includes hats, gloves, dresses, bags, and accessories. Another key aspect of the project: flight attendant and pilot uniforms are streamlined under a unique design approach to provide passengers with a comprehensive brand experience.

Rich in culture and history and vibrant in color and texture, Istanbul, spanning two continents, Asia and Europe provided a superb backdrop for uniforms. Relying on its ability to convey western and eastern values. This is the best way to celebrate the airline’s 85th anniversary.

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