Delta Air Lines gave a first look at long-awaited new crew uniforms for more than 60,000 workers Tuesday during a “fashion show” rollout in the company’s hometown of Atlanta.
To help create the new uniforms, Delta turned to celebrity New York fashion designer Zac Posen, whose work has included outfits for high-profile women such as first lady Michelle Obama, Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Claire Danes and Rihanna. Given Posen's status as a star of the red carpet set, the partnership with Delta has heightened anticipation among industry observers about the carrier’s new look.
Delta's new uniforms will go to all of the company’s frontline workers, though it’s the customer-facing uniforms for flight attendants and airport-based customer service agents that will be the most visible to passengers. Pilots are not included in this round of uniform updates at Delta. The last broad overhaul of uniforms for Delta’s frontline workers came in 2006.
“The world’s best employees deserve the best uniforms and this new collection is classically influenced, yet modern,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement accompanying the big reveal.
Delta called the new uniform design “contemporary,” saying the update “fuses together bold color palettes and classic styles, while paying homage to the heritage and iconic design from decades past.”
Delta described the colors used for the new uniforms as “a wholly-reimagined mix” that consists of “Passport Plum, Cruising Cardinal and Groundspeed Graphite” along with “accents of Skyline Slate and Traveling Thistle.”
“Zac and the Delta team worked closely with our people to create timeless and fashionable pieces that reflect the thoughtful and innovative spirit of Delta,” Bastian added in the statement.
Speaking to Today in the Sky, designer Posen said it was “thrilling” to be asked by Delta to help the carrier achieve a new look.
Posen called it a “lifelong dream come true” to be able to help design uniforms that will soon be worn worldwide by employees of an “iconic” U.S. airline that’s become a major player on the global stage.
“I never expected I would have the honor to work with one of the greatest airlines in the world,” Posen said. “It’s humbling.”
Up next for Delta's new uniform designs: wear-testing by select crews of Delta workers. Passengers should begin seeing the new uniforms by the end of this year as crews test them in the workplace through next year. If all goes according to plan, Delta plans to roll them out companywide in 2018.
Delta's unveiling of a new uniform design comes a month after American rolled out new uniforms to its frontline workers. The uniforms were the first new ones for most American workers since the 1980s.
While the looks of those uniforms were well-received by many workers, there have since been complaints from some American employees that the new wool-rich uniforms have resulted in itching and headaches.