After over five years of announcing plans to update the look and nearly 12 years since crew members and other front-line employees first wore the carrier’s iconic uniform, Air New Zealand has finally selected a new designer for its cabin crew uniform.
Ultimately, Emilia Wickstead, a “globally renowned” Kiwi fashion designer, emerged victorious from the competition to be chosen as Air New Zealand’s new uniform designer.
Leanne Geraghty, chief customer and sales officer of Air New Zealand, said that although the panel had reviewed submissions from forty different New Zealand designers, Emilia’s early designs immediately stood out as having the potential to distinguish the airline on the international scene.
“Her ability to create modern yet timeless pieces perfectly fits with what we were looking for in a design partner—someone who could create a uniform that our people can wear with pride now and into the future,” commented Geraghty.
Air New Zealand will now collaborate with Wickstead to improve her initial designs, speak with staff, and conduct onboard trials after selecting her as their designer. If everything goes according to plan, the final designs will be revealed to the public late in the coming year, approximately three years later than anticipated.
“My approach to the uniform centers around a deep respect for New Zealand’s cultural heritage,” commented Wickstead on Monday. “First and foremost, it is inspired by people. I’m a big believer that clothing can be transformative, uplifting and empowering, and my hope is that the new uniforms will instill a sense of pride and purpose in Air New Zealand’s incredible, world-class team.”
“This is a true passion project for me; one that further connects me with my homeland Aotearoa, and the community and places that I love,” Wickstead continued.
Dame Trelise Cooper, a well-known local designer, created the current Air New Zealand uniform. When the enormous assortment of mix-and-match clothing first debuted, the airline employees shared 90,000 outfits in total.
Prior to beginning this most recent uniform project, Air New Zealand claims to have investigated the possibility of wearing a gender-neutral uniform in the future. However, the airline did not offer an update on this choice on Monday.