You may not be dressed in Westwood, Lacroix or Balmain for your flight, but inspect your flight’s cabin crew a bit more and you might recognise a haute couture design right in front of you.
Airlines have been collaborating with couture designers for generations, beginning with the glamorous heyday of flying in the 60’s. Emilio Pucci designed Braniff International’s futuristic hostess uniforms in the 1960s while Pierre Balmain created the iconic Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya in the 1970s.
Today, airlines turn to celebrated designers to create stylish, aspirational and instantly recognisable uniforms. And just as each airline has its own character and often reflects the country’s culture, cabin crew outfits are also feats of engineering. Who else can manage to look so fresh after 12 hours on a plane?!
When paired up next to one another, most airline ensembles tend to blend into a mass of navy and red, but the best designers know how to differentiate themselves even with a limited palette. For example, South African Airways’ uniform comes in striking blue and is paired with colourful ties and scarves representing the national colours of South Africa.
It’s not just the five-star airlines that do it either; budget airlines such as Mango have an instantly recognisable look with their muted grey suits with orange trims. Fly Safair’s uniform is classic and timeless, combined with vivid pink in form of ties and neckerchiefs.
Find out more about the South Africa’s top airline styles and the interesting stories behind their cabin crew collections.
We hope you enjoyed our lookbook of South African airline fashion. If you want to see more, click below to explore other versions from around the world!