Korean Air unveiled new uniforms this week joining an elite group of airlines that have haute couturier-designed attire. Korean Air’s new outfits have been created by Italian designer GianFranco Ferre, who is recognized worldwide for blending east and west aesthetics with traditional and modern concepts.
Korean Air is one of a handful of airlines to heighten its fashion image with the help of couturiers. Richard Tyler designed Delta’s new look, Christian LaCroix has designed for Air France, Yoshie Inaba created new uniforms for JAL and British Airways retained Julian MacDonald to spruce up its style.
This is the first time Ferre has designed an airline uniform and he’s come up with clothing that he says “guarantees performance, comfort and practicality, and is simple, uncomplicated and informal. This can only be accomplished by paying absolute close attention to such fundamental matters as line and construction.”
“Uniform designs are an integral part of the corporate image,” said Ferre. “They must capture the airline’s identity; express its values on the spot. The characteristics of the new uniforms have no trouble keying into the quiet elegance that has always distinguished Korean Air.”
The new uniform signifies the first uniform change for Korean Air since cabin attendants selected the current design in 1991. The traditional skirt uniform will now be augmented with a dress pant option for female attendants.
Korean Air is simultaneously changing the uniforms of all flight attendants, front-line staff, pilots and mechanics on employees in October. In addition to the new uniforms, Korean Air will be introducing new aircraft interiors and color schemes to enhance passengers’ inflight experience.
“Our new uniforms and look are just part of our corporate effort to achieve ‘Excellence in Flight’ and provide our customers with enjoyable traveling experiences,” said Korean Air Chairman and CEO, Y.H. Cho. “We are honored to be working with such a well-respected designer and know that his fashions will translate well into Korean Air’s environments.”
Cho said that Korean Air also will be introducing First Class Sleeper seats (Cocoon style), Prestige Plus Business Class seats, new inflight entertainment and inflight Internet, later this year. This is part of airline’s reinvention of itself for the new century, spending more than $1 billion on a major makeover. Korean Air aims to be the largest commercial air cargo carrier by 2007 and one of the top ten passenger airlines by 2010.