American Airlines has annouced that, in addition to a brand-new paint job for its planes, its flight attendants will get brand-new uniforms. Fashion designers -- from mass market to independent luxury -- have teamed with hotels and airlines to outfit their employees. Does this mark a return to the age of glamour in travel? Let's hope so.
Click through the next few pages to see which designers are dressing hotel and airline staff in designer duds.
|American Airlines and KaufmanFranco|
American Airlines has tapped fashion designers Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco of KaufmanFranco to design new, more modern uniforms for employees. The new uniforms will be the first complete refresh in more than 20 years. The design process will take approximately 18 months, the airline said, from sketches to fabric selection to focus groups and fit tests. The uniforms will be rolled out 18 to 24 months from now.
Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry have all worn KaufmanFranco.
|Virgin America and Banana Republic|
Virgin America debuted new uniforms designed by Banana Republic for the airline's 2,000 staff members in August 2012. The uniforms include an array of styles for Virgin America's pilots, in–flight and guest-service teammates.
For men, the nine styles include leather jackets, lined mac coats, striped sleeve sweaters, woven shirts and pants. For women, 13 styles include a classic pencil skirt, slim dress, trousers, leather jacket and trench to start, paired with luxe silk print scarves, slim plaque belts and Virgin America–branded serving aprons for in–flight meal service. All looks include classic aviation touches, such as shoulder tabs and button chest pockets.
|Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows & Vilebrequin|
Saint Tropez meets Santa Monica on the beach at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, where the beach butlers are outfitted in Vilebrequin swim trunks for the first time in summer 2012.
The French company's suits are all the rage in men's swimwear, but they don't come cheap. Plan to pay $200 for the solid-color style worn by the hotel staff.
|Hotel Arts Barcelona & Cortana|
Spanish fashion designer Cortana's romantic, Mediterranean style can be seen on the staff of the Hotel Arts Barcelona, including the wait staff at the Michelin-starred Enoteca Restaurant, and the entire front-of-house staff. The new attire, made of natural materials, including cotton, wool and knitted textures, is said to be a departure from traditional, rigid hotel uniforms, aiming to help further ease the barrier between the staff and hotel guests.
Head designer Rosa Esteva, Cortana drew inspiration for the Hotel Arts collection from the property's Mediterranean roots, creating a color palate that reflects the hotel's geographic location.
|Gramercy Park Hotel & Sophie Theallet|
Sophie Theallet, a New York City-based independent French fashion designer, was the mastermind behind the wardrobe for New York City's famed Gramercy Park Hotel Rose Bar staff members.
Her design features bi-color drape dresses in stretch silk crepe, featured in two dynamic color palettes: Gramercy Red with a bright orange underlining and also in midnight blue with black underlining. The dresses are made of a spill-proof silk, essential for serving drinks.
|Gansevoort Hotels & Lacoste|
Gansevoort Hotel Group is the first hotel brand worldwide to partner with Lacoste to outfit staff. In New York City, Gansevoort Park Avenue and Gansevoort Meatpacking employee ensembles layer pieces composed of terry, nylon and the brand's iconic pique cotton. There's a Lacoste boutique at the Park Avenue location.
Other properties also include Lacoste-wearing staff. At Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, for example, staff uniforms come with accessories and apparel in calypso blue and white.