British Airways is a global airline, bringing together people, places and cultures for more than 100 years. Priding themselves on a signature warm welcome, and exceptional service, the airline has unveiled a new uniform for its 30,000+ staff members to take them into their next chapter.
Source: British Airways Press Release
© British Airways 2023
Designed by fashion designer and Savile Row master tailor, Ozwald Boateng OBE, the collection of garments, has been tested in the air and on the ground by more than 1,500 British Airways’ colleagues who inputted into the design of the new collection over the last four years. Boateng has developed bespoke fabrics and designs for the collection, taking inspiration from the airline’s people, heritage and the experience of flight.
The collection, which is the first update to the British Airways uniform for over twenty years features a tailored three-piece suit for men in both regular and slim fit styles and a dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit – which is an airline first. This follows an industry trend to make uniforms more inclusive by design. Boateng has also included a tunic and hijab design into his collection to support the global operation of the airline, respecting diverse cultures.
© British Airways 2023
Boateng took great care in designing a truly original collection, taking inspiration from the airline, its people of the art of flying. British Airways’ previous uniform was designed by Julien MacDonald OBE. The airwave pattern that features across the entire new uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque.
Boateng was appointed by British Airways in 2018 to develop the concept and design for the new uniform, and took to the role with care. He shadowed a number of British Airways staff roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job and ensure a modern, stylish look with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.
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.Oswald Boateng OBE, Appointed Designer for British Airways
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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.
Sustainability and quality have been front and centre throughout the uniform design process. More than 90% of the garments are produced using sustainable fabric from blends of recycled polyester.
The airline’s engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniform from spring 2023. All British Airways’ cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a switch over date from their current uniform to the new one in summer.