On August 8, Virgin America‘s fifth anniversary, the airline’s entire crew from pilots to flight attendants will debut their sleek and modern uniforms designed by Banana Republic. The retailer, who is no stranger to brand collaborations (this past spring they designed a Mad Men-inspired collection and recently announced an Anna Karenina-inspired collection due out late October), created a utility-chic line of clothing, which includes black basics with red and purple accessories, sophisticated scarves, a red trench and leather jacket. The timing couldn’t be better, considering the spotlight has been put back on the glamorous life of flight attendants thanks to shows like PanAm and the reality series Fly Girls (although both have since been cancelled). It’s a refreshing take, considering the airline fashion we see today is very professional albeit neutral, which is a far cry from the colourful and sexy uniforms that were worn by flight attendants in the ’60s (who were all women, might we add).
Virgin Airlines also happens to be one of the few airlines in recent years to redesign their uniforms too. This past March, Southwest Airlines partnered with the casual clothing retailer Land’s End and in 2008 US Airways had former CFDA president Stan Herman design new ones, but otherwise it’s been the status quo.
According to USA Today, it took Virgin Airlines 18 months to come up with the new look and had a Project Runway-like sessions to determine the winning design. Banana Republic’s creative director Simon Kneen designed the uniforms with function in mind saying, “We wanted to respect the heritage of in-flight uniform design while injecting a modern twist that’s both functional and fashionable.”
For those interested in getting the chic airline look will be able to get in on the fashions too, with travel pieces inspired by the collection available at select Banana Republic stores and on Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system. You won’t be able to get the exact uniforms due to security reasons, but look out for the trench, aviator sunglasses and tote bags which will range from $78 – $250.