At a time when women in Iran are protesting against the Islamic regime for imposing restrictions on women, including the mandate on the veil, British Airways, the United Kingdom’s flag carrier airline rolled out its first uniform change in 20 years, offering a hijab option to its female cabin crew members.
According to the statement released by British Airways, dress, skirt and trousers options will be available for women and jumpsuits are available for the first time. A tunic and hijab option has also been created. Meanwhile, the men’s cabin crew will be able to choose from a tailored three-piece suit, with regular and slim-fit style trousers.
The global airlines, in a statement, said on Friday that the collection of garments, designed by British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE, will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline`s colleagues from Spring 2023. 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 it termed as an airline first. A tunic and hijab option has also been created for the global carrier.
Sean Doyle, the Chairman and CEO of the global airlines 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 and with the help of more than 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”
The airline said that Boateng has been developing the collection since 2018 with care. He shadowed a number of airport roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job and ensure a modern British, stylish look with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.
More than 1,500 colleagues across the airline took part in 50 workshops to help ensure the garments’ suitability, from design workshops to prototype feedback and garment trials, helping create an iconic collection that will stand the test of time, the statement added.
The items have also been put through six months of secret trials. According to reports, the cabin and flight crew tested their new uniforms on cargo flights around Europe while the engineers tried them on at Manchester and Cotswold Airports.
Designer Ozwald Boateng says wanted to give something that ’empowered’ the British Airways crew
Meanwhile, speaking about his creation and inspiration, Boateng said, “Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes.”
“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,” said the fashion designer.
The new uniform unveiled by the global airlines did not, however, receive a very positive response from social media users who called the outfits regressive, out of date and frumpy, bland and boring.