British Airways presents new uniforms designed by Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng

British Airways presents new uniforms designed by Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng

British Airways presents new uniforms designed by Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng

British Airways has unveiled a new uniform for the first time in nearly 20 years. Acclaimed Savile Row tailor and designer Ozwald Boateng and his team, led by Head of Design and Production, Angelica Colucci, created unique fabrics and designs for the airline, including a first for the airline: a jumpsuit. They drew inspiration from British Airways staff and flight experiences, spending time observing staff in their roles at the airline. The chic new collection skillfully combines functionality with the elegance you’d expect from Ozwald Boateng.

The collection includes a tailor-made three-piece suit for men with regular and tailored trousers and dresses, skirts and trousers for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit – which is the airline’s first airliner. A tunic and hijab option was also created for the global carrier. The Airwave pattern, which appears throughout the uniform collection, including jackets, T-shirts, buttons and ties, was inspired by the movement of air over an airplane wing. The jacquard fabric in all tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque (famous logo).

Boateng and his team have been developing the collection since 2018, looking at different roles in airports to understand how the uniform needs to perform in every role and deliver a modern British style look with high-quality, stretchy fabrics that are easy to care for.

More than 1,500 associates from across the airline attended 50 workshops to ensure apparel suitability, from design workshops to prototype feedback and garment trials, helping to create an iconic collection that will stand the test of time. Many outer garments have been tested in heavy rain and -18 degrees Celsius freezers to ensure they are waterproof, durable and suitable for extreme weather conditions.

British Airways, which launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service (between London and Paris) in 1919, first wore military-inspired uniforms. Maurice Helman was the first fashion designer to create a uniform in 1946, a gray military-style utility suit with a tie and a stylish hat. BA has since collaborated with many famous fashion designers, including Hardy Amies (1960s and 70s), Baccarat Weatherall (late 70s), Roland Klein (1980s), Paul Costelloe (1990s) and Julien MacDonald, designer of the airline’s current uniform, who will be replaced by Ozwald Boateng this spring.

Ozwald Boateng said of his collection, “Designing this uniform was a huge and painstaking undertaking and went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an internal energy transformation. One of my main goals was to create something that would appeal to and for my airline colleagues. Something that inspired and empowered them, encouraged them to carry out their roles with pride and, most importantly, to feel seen and heard. While the airline has a strong heritage, support was needed to create a fresh narrative of change and transcendence while keeping it relevant.”

Sustainability has been a key factor in the latest uniform design process. Over 90% of the garments are made using sustainable recycled polyester blend fabrics. As part of British Airways BA Better World’s commitment to working with sustainable suppliers, the airline only works with manufacturers who are members of ‘Better Cotton’, the world’s leading cotton sustainability initiative whose mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment.

Airline engineers and ground operations agents will be the first to wear the new uniforms from spring 2023. All British Airways cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a transition date from their current uniform to the new one in summer 2023. They will hand over their clothes when picking up their new uniforms Julien MacDonald to be donated to charity or recycled to create toys, tablet holders and more, with many items donated to the airline’s museum.

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