Air New Zealand has unveiled royal favorite Emilia Wickstead to design a new uniform

Air New Zealand has unveiled royal favorite Emilia Wickstead to design a new uniform

Royal family favorite Emilia Wickstead has been announced as the new designer of Air New Zealand’s uniform.

The airline revealed the news this morning, as the New Zealand-born, London-based designer traveled to advertise in Auckland.

“New Zealand is my home, and for me, this is one of my proudest moments,” she said.

Wickstead has been selected to lead the modernization of uniforms for pilots, flight attendants and ground crew, beating out more than 40 New Zealand designers in a competitive pitch project.

Leanne Geraghty, chief customer and sales officer at Air New Zealand, said the selection panel was “blown away” by Wicksted’s concepts.

“Emilia delivered outstanding concept designs that were innovative and unique, and will set Air New Zealand apart on the global stage.” “She also demonstrated her understanding of the importance of creating functional and comfortable uniforms for our employees,” Geraghty said.

The current Air New Zealand uniform, designed by Dame Trellis Cooper, was introduced in 2011.

supplied

The current Air New Zealand uniform, designed by Dame Trellis Cooper, was introduced in 2011.

Announcing the search for a new designer in May, Geraghty said uniforms were one of the airline’s most important brand assets, recognized around the world, and therefore needed to “reflect the diversity of its workforce today”.

Geraghty said today that Wickstead was chosen due to the fact that her “modern and timeless pieces” perfectly fit “what we were looking for in a design partner – someone who could create a uniform that our employees can wear with pride now and in the world.” future.”

In a video released in conjunction with the announcement, Wickstead said she cried when she learned her design was a success. “I’m so proud of my roots and where I come from, and to be able to tell the story by presenting a beautiful, powerful, amazing new costume… yeah, I’m very excited.”

London-based New Zealand fashion designer Emilia Wickstead has been announced as the new designer of Air New Zealand's uniforms.

Air New Zealand / Supplier

London-based New Zealand fashion designer Emilia Wickstead has been announced as the new designer of Air New Zealand’s uniforms.

Wickstead is internationally acclaimed and well-known, having launched her namesake brand in London in 2008. Feminine elegance, expert tailoring and playful use of color are at the core of her designs.

A favorite among celebrities, Wickstead’s designs have been worn by several members of the royal family, including the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle, and earlier this year she collaborated with Gwyneth Paltrow on a collection for the actor’s own brand Goop.

Wickstead was born in Auckland and attended Paradine College of the Sacred Heart in Remuera, before moving to Milan, Italy, at the age of 14 with her mother, fashion designer Angela Wickstead.

Its collections are sold in some of the world’s most iconic luxury fashion retailers, including Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and Harrods, alongside its flagship store which opened in 2014 on London’s Sloane Street. In Aotearoa, a small selection of her designs are sold through Simon James boutique in Auckland.

Catherine, Princess of Wales in Emilia Wickstead designs.

Getty Images

Catherine, Princess of Wales in Emilia Wickstead designs.

Announcing the search for a new uniform designer in May this year, Air New Zealand said the sustainability of its workplace wardrobe would be a key consideration when selecting the winning bid, in particular ensuring the fabrics used had a low environmental impact. The airline also indicated that it will look for solutions to existing uniforms to reduce waste in landfill.

Wickstead’s yet-to-be-released designs are entering a phase of design refinements, on-board trials and uniform wearer consultation before the final designs are unveiled to the public in late 2024. They replace the current uniform designed by Dame Trelise Cooper and introduced in 2011.

Indicating what to expect from her designs, Wickstead said: “Typography design will play a big role.”

“Even the design details will have meaning. Small details that you might not even recognize will influence New Zealand heritage.”

Air New Zealand expects to roll out new Wickstead-designed uniforms to more than 5,000 customer-facing employees “over the next few years”. Grooming standards will also be reviewed as part of the update.

Zoe Walker Ahwa, Stuff Masthead Publishing style editor and co-founder of Ensemble, wrote in March that the uniform upgrade was long overdue, saying Cooper-designed clothing should be replaced “with something that truly reflects the Aotearoa of today”.

Air New Zealand first announced its plans to update its uniforms in 2018, and hoped to have it adopted by 2021. However, the project was soon delayed and then put on hold due to the pandemic. They put out a call for “expressions of interest” from New Zealand designers in May, and the airline then selected the designers to be part of a competitive bidding process.

The uniform update comes as the airline updates other features, including on-board amenity kits featuring local skincare company Aotea and new aircraft scheduled to arrive next year.

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