Vivienne Westwood to design new Virgin Atlantic uniform
Virgin Atlantic has announced an exciting collaboration with eccentric British designer, Vivienne Westwood, to design a new image for the company through its uniforms. The long-term partnership between the two British brands will see a re-design of uniforms across all areas to be released next year.
Vivienne Westwood is famous for her quirky designs and feminine shapes, which she plans to bring to the new uniform designs. Her passion for 1940s French couture cutting techniques, and an interest in Savile Row tailoring heritage, have been used to capture the glamour that Virgin Atlantic cabin crew are renowned for.
“Virgin Atlantic has a distinct spirit, and from a design perspective, we continually try to challenge the norm and stand out from the crowd. Our current uniform has been around for more than 10 years,” says Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, “and for this project we wanted to work with people who share our spirit of adventure, who believe in challenging the status quo and creating something truly memorable.”
Of course the red, which is synonymous with Virgin Atlantic, will be kept, along with the feminine styles of the skirt suits for female cabin crew. Westwood’s jacket design has an hour-glass silhouette with pleats on the bust, a nipped in waist and curved hip line. The matching pencil skirt, which looks quite simple from the front, has a cheeky dart and double pleat at the back. Male cabin crew will also get a make over and given a dapper look with a smart Savile Row inspired three piece suit in burgundy, with grey accents under the lapels and pockets, which gives a traditional British look a contemporary feel.
Vivienne Westwood commented: “My clothes have always got a very strong dynamic rapport with the body. They are very body conscious, they help you to look glamorous, more hour-glass, more woman. I design things to help people to hopefully express their personality.’
Many items of the new uniform will be produced using recycled materials, in particular polyester yarn made from used plastic bottles. “I am always trying to find fabrics that are more friendly to the environment,” Westwood explains, “and working with Virgin Atlantic, they managed to research into this and find more eco fabrics.” Virgin Atlantic is also developing all items with Closed Loop Recycling in mind. This new technology takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibres that can be woven again into new fabrics, and in turn, new clothing.
The new uniforms will be designed for over 7,500 Virgin Atlantic staff, including pilots and Clubhouse staff, who have all been involved in the design process but won’t receive their new uniforms until 2014. However passengers will be able to get a sneak preview of the new look, as cabin crew and ground staff will trial the uniforms from July 2013.
Photos: Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic
Find out more about the collaboration from Richard Branson and Vivienne Westwood below: