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Qantas has revealed the new uniform to be worn by its crew and ground staff from next year.
Here are some first photos from the launch – we'll have more details on the new uniform later today.
For now, know that designer Martin Grant has predictably ditched the Aboriginal prints of the current uniform in favour of a stylish, contemporary wardrobe of some 35 garments based on a dusky French navy incorporating elements of 'Qantas red' with the odd playful fuchsia pink highlight.
A standout element is the trilby-style cap and trenchcoat intended for off-the-plane wear, which will serve to promote Qantas brand in and around airports – even to travellers who aren't flying with the Red Roo.
The uniform was unveilled at a packed event in Sydney, with Qantas crew proudly modelling their new kit on a different kind of runway to the one they're used to!
The trenchcoats sport a fold-down lapel which reveals a flash of red and a small version of the iconic Qantas kangaroo, neatly mirroring the 'red triangle' brandmark and the tail of a Qantas jet.
Real-world guidance on Grant's design came through the Qantas Uniform Panel, a group of 12 representatives from each of Qantas' customer-facing uniformed departments including cabin crew and ground employees who provided feedback on functionality and wearability of the uniform throughout the design process.
Underneath the trenchcoat, the blokes of Qantas wear a single-breasted, single-buttoned structured jacket and a V-neck knit vest.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr sporting one of the cabin uniforms...
... alongside designer Martin Grant.
This video shot by Qantas captures this morning's 'fashion show' launch.
PREVIOUS | Qantas will this reveal the new uniform to be worn by flight attendants and ground crew at a Milan-style fashion event in Sydney this morning.
Created by Melbourne-born but Paris-based designer Martin Grant, and over one year in the making, the garb will begin to appear on Qantas’ 12,600 uniformed staff from early next year.
Qantas has given no clues as to the new look, apart from Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s take that they’ll be a “fresh and contemporary style” bearing a “distinctly Australian look”.
However, Grant has ruled out using Aboriginal motifs as seen in the current uniform, designed by Peter Morrissey and introduced in 2003.
“I didn't try and push it to a specifically Australian aesthetic” Grant told The Australian earlier this month.
“I thought we already have Qantas being Australian – that is almost enough.”
Watch for the Roo?
Almost? Some pundits tip a stylised treatment of Qantas’ iconic ‘flying kangaroo’ logo will close the gap.
“I started thinking more about Australia and its fauna and all different things associated with Australia and I kept coming back to Qantas and the Qantas logo and the image that we all have of Qantas, which is the red triangle, the tail of the aircraft with the flying kangaroo” Grant explains.
“For me, if not the best airline logo, it is one of the strongest international logos. When you see it in the international ports it has a very strong impact.”
“I think for a lot of people, there is a huge amount of pride attached to it; it hits a chord. It made international sense to concentrate on the corporate logo of Qantas.”
Grant offers few hints beyond that, apart from the predictable promise that it “It's chic, it's fresh, it's clean, it's modern and it is bold.”
No matter how it looks, the Red Roo’s new kit is certain to be almost as controversial and much-discussed as Australia’s Olympic uniforms, such is the Aussie feeling of ‘ownership’ for the national brand.
Australian Business Traveller will be at tomorrow’s unveiling of the new Qantas uniform – you can follow us on @AusBT for tweets and deets along with first photos as the models take to the catwalk from 10.30am.
Qantas will also offer a live streaming video broadcast of the event at www.qantasnewsroom.com.au.
Until then, why not take a stroll down memory lane with this gallery of Qantas uniforms from years past?
The current Qantas uniforms (above and below) were introduced in 2003 and created by Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey, and underwent a refresh in 2008.
Those are a long way from this groovy look of the mid-70s through to the mid-80s:
After all, nothing says 'premium airline' like an orange jacket with a mustard-yellow shirt and stripey brown tie!
Today's frequent flyers may be more likely to recall trips with Qantas staff decked out in these blue (and rather British-looking) uniforms of 1985-1993...
... and will certainly be familiar with the duskier navy tones through to 2003.
Here's what hosties were wearing in the early '70s – back in those days when we could call them hosties.
All those uniforms plus a red mini from the late 60s come together in this shot of Qantas uniforms from past to present.
Click here for a slideshow of Qantas uniforms from 1948 to today – and if you're really into the in-flight fashion, visit the very detailed if oddly unsettling (and thus, perhaps appropriately-named) UniformFreak site featuring "1,142 different stewardess uniforms from 433 airlines."