Air New Zealand’s new uniforms: What we want to see on the runway

As the pink, green and blue uniforms of Air New Zealand’s flight staff are phased out, we speak to Viva‘s Dan Ahwa on what we want from the airline’s new look

The national air carrier has announced plans to unveil a new wardrobe for Air New Zealand staff.

The airline is planning a redesign of the uniforms for its 4,500 cabin crew and ground staff.

Past uniforms have drawn influence from the height of fashion, with uniforms designed by Christian Dior and Nina Ricci.

However, when the airline invites proposals for the uniform next month, they will be selecting exclusively from local New Zealand designers.

“The successful design will capture the New Zealand spirit and Air New Zealand brand and be something our people feel proud to wear,” says Jodi Williams, Global Brand Manager for the airline.

The current koru-pattern fabric was designed by Dame Trelise Cooper. It is due to be replaced by the new design in 2021.

While Dame Trelise has been invited to tender again, that’s all we know about Air NZ’s next look.

The concepts won’t be finalised until 2019, and we’ll have the wait at least until next year to see them.

All we know is that New Zealand will be aiming high and thinking local, but what would we like to see in a uniform?

Dan Ahwa, Fashion Editor for Viva, says this is a great opportunity for New Zealand to rethink how it’s seen on a world stage.

“We have so much going for us as a nation now. Given our international successes in music, arts, culture, politics and cuisine in particular, we deserve a sophisticated uniform for our National Carrier that reflects that shift.”

As Kiwi air staff go forth in the new customer-facing uniforms, he says the airline needs to put their best foot forward in the fashion the country deserves:

“We’re not humble pie small town New Zealanders anymore. We’re competing on a global scale on so many levels”

“There are several young, award winning designers who I think would make great and relevant candidates, who think have already made an impact beyond our own shores with their business.”

However, Ahwa thinks there’s space to look back at the airline’s heritage, particularly in the designs of Nina Ricci and Zambesi:

“You always felt a sense of calm when you saw those clean lines and colours, especially helpful when you’re a nervous flyer. Maybe it’s time to think about that mood again.”

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