For the first time in almost 20 years, British Airways has unveiled a new uniform. Created by Ghanaian-British fashion designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, the collection will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline’s staff from Spring 2023.
In a release, the airline said that the collection features a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim fit style trousers and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit, which is an airline first. The airline has also added a tunic and hijab option for female cabin crew.
Boateng spent time shadowing colleagues in their roles at the airline to create the collection. The airwave pattern, which features across the entire uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties, was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing, British Airways said. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque, the airline added.
Over the last six months, the airline has been putting the uniform to the test in secret trials to ensure that each is fit for the purpose, the airline said.
Boateng, who has been developing the collection since 2018, said “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.”
Boateng was born on February 28, 1967. The fashion designer has acquired the likes and admiration of many for his signature twist on classic tailoring and bespoke style. Boateng was born in North London’s Muswell Hill after his parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1950s. He draws inspiration from the immaculate suits that his father wore when he was young.
Since childhood, his love for fashion has been quite apparent from the fact that he was only fourteen when he found himself a summer job sewing linings into suits.