For the first time in nearly two decades, British Airways has unveiled a new uniform change. Featuring a hijab and tunic option for Muslim women, the new uniform has been described as “an airline first”.
The collection which was created by British tailor and fashion designer Ozwald Boateng includes jumpsuit options for women and will be worn by 30,000 of BA’s staff this spring. This new uniform replaces the current one which was designed by Julien MacDonald.
“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,” Boateng said.
The airline’s decision to include a modest range received widespread applause, with many taking to social media to celebrate the occasion.
A Fresh Narrative of Change
In a report by Arab News, Boateng added, “Although the airline has a strong heritage, it was imperative to support in creating a fresh narrative of change and transcendence, while remaining timeliness”.
As things stand currently, it is estimated that only 15 airlines (except BA) allow hijab to be worn as part of their company’s uniform.
The new BA uniform was tested over a period of six months and during this time, feedback was given after which amendments were made. What’s more, with 90% of the garments produced using sustainable fabric from recycled polyester blends, the company has ensured that sustainability shaped what was produced.
The CEO of British Airways, Sean Doyle 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.”
With Boateng working on the new collection for over four years now, he ensured that he observed staff in airport roles to understand the requirements for the uniform. What’s more, he was keen to maintain a rather stylish touch all while retaining a truly modern British look.
He said: “Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an energetic shift internally.
Old uniforms will be donated to charity and recycled, with some planned to be put on display in the airline’s museum.