Alaska Airlines and Virgin America began operating under one call sign just a few days ago, signaling the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. The new Alaska Airlines is expected to begin retiring Virgin America branding (and their quirks) as the two airlines continue to integrate. Just today, Alaska Airlines took a step in that direction, and unveiled new uniforms for flight attendants, pilots, ground crew, and all other personnel. They held a fashion show out Seattle this afternoon, and you can follow them online with the hashtag #FlyFashion.
Alaska says the uniforms have been two years in the making, and are fittingly designed by Luly Yang, a Taiwan-born, Seattle-based fashion designer. According to the airline, the collection is supposed to capture a “fresh, West Coast vibe” by incorporating “bright pops of color, clean lines and stunning finishes.” I do think the uniforms represent a nice blend between the old Alaska and Virgin America; as Alaska puts it, they are “stylish yet approachable.”
I do lament the fact that so many airline uniforms tend to go with the gray and blue blend, and Alaska’s new uniform is no exception. The lime green color does help the uniforms distinguish themselves from say, the boring, dreary American uniforms. This is one area where Delta’s uniforms by Zac Posen truly stand out, with purple as the overarching palette, setting themselves apart from the rest of the US airlines.
Dressing almost 20,000 people (who will then wear it ALL DAY, everyday) is no easy task. As American Airlines will tell you, they have faced their fair share of problems. To that end, Alaska has interestingly dedicated half their press release to talking about the safety of their uniforms, perhaps to avoid what American is going through now.
The airline is also beginning a 60-day trial period starting next week. 130 of their employees, from lounge agents to pilots, will wear testers from the new collection to try out the image, as well as the practicality of the uniforms. From a manufacturing standpoint, the new collection will be supplied by Unisync, a Toronto-based company.
The new Alaska Airlines uniforms will be rolled out to all 19,000+ employees in late 2019. You can check out a short video below.