Uniforms have been a facet of the work environment for decades. The role of the uniform is to eliminate dress codes, to serve as corporate branding, and to project competence in the employees. It is not uncommon for uniforms to be seen in service industries such as banks, hospitals, and hospitality. However, even though many work environments have become more lax about uniforms, the airline industry has always maintained this requisite.
At Miami Fashion Week, the iconic Eastern Air Lines was the title sponsor. The initiated a competition to design their flight attendant uniforms with the forthcoming re-launch of the airline. The competition included five Miami-based designers who presented their collections to the sound of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”. Julian Chang, Lisu Vega, Kayce Armstrong, Samy Gicherman and Viviana Gabeiras were the five finalists who presented their individual collections. They conveyed a variety of looks incorporating the brand’s logo and colors. The collections ranged from vintage inspired looks and athletic movable designs to outfits with tropical flair and designs resembling something more appropriate for an astronaut. The winning designer, Lisu Vega, introduced a collection of flight attendant uniforms featuring cobalt suits, zippered blazers with matching skirts, and classic dresses. She also added logo printed suitcases to the model’s ensemble that perfectly complemented the flight attendant theme.
The concept of a stylish uniform is somewhat of an oxymoron. Uniforms essentially suppress individuality while style is conveyed through individuality in how an outfit is worn and accessorized. Yet, famous designs have long been drawn to uniforms. Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani and Vivienne Westwood are among the elite who have also designed uniforms for flight attendants. Although uniforms are meant to make everyone look alike, each individuals style can be seen through the use of jewelry, scarves, shoes, handbags and even the color of a woman’s lipstick.
In many ways, we all have our own uniforms. We tend to gravitate toward the same looks as representing who we are and how we want the world to perceive us. It’s in the accessories that our individual style shines through. Next time you fly, look for the those individual touches that make your flight attendant stand out. And don’t forget to take a look at the stylish ensembles worn by the newly launched Eastern Air Lines.