British Airways introduces new uniform for its staff with hijab options
Image by British Airways
British Airways on 6 January, 2023, unveiled a new uniform to take the airline into its next chapter. The collection of garments, created by British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE, will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline’s colleagues from Spring 2023.
The collection features a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim fit style trousers and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit – which is an airline first. A tunic and hijab option has also been created for the global carrier.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”
Boateng took great care in designing a truly original collection, taking inspiration from the airline, its people of the art of flying. The airwave pattern that features across the entire uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque.
Boateng has been developing the collection since 2018 with painstaking care. He shadowed a number of airport roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job and ensure a modern British, stylish look with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for. More than 1,500 colleagues across the airline took part in 50 workshops to help ensure the garments suitability, from design workshops to prototype feedback and garment trials, helping create an iconic collection that will stand the test of time.
Ozwald Boateng OBE, British, Ghanaian changemaker, fashion designer and master tailor, said, “Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an energetic shift internally. 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. Although the airline has a strong heritage, it was imperative to support in creating a fresh narrative of change and transcendence, while remaining timeliness.”
The airline’s engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniform from Spring 2023. All British Airways’ cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a switch over date from their current uniform to the new one in Summer 2023. As they pick up their new items of uniform, they’ll hand in their previous garments designed by Julien MacDonald OBE, which will be donated to charity or recycled to create toys, tablet holders and more, with a number of items gifted to the airline’s museum.