Qantas to launch new uniforms on December 12

By David Flynn, October 28 2013
Qantas to launch new uniforms on December 12

Staff and crew at the Flying Kangaroo will have a fresh look on Thursday December 12 when Qantas switches over to its chic new uniform.

All of the airline's 12,600 domestic and international uniformed staff will don the new garb on that day, although if you keep your eyes peeled you may already spot some crew in the uniform created by Melbourne-born but Paris-based designer Martin Grant.

They're part of a 120-strong 'Style Ambassador' squad – specially selected staffers at Qantas lounges and terminals who have been chosen to wear the new uniform "to provide our employees with more information about the new look" a Qantas spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller.

In addition to hosting "image and presentation workshops" for Qantas staff, the Style Ambassadors can also wear the new uniform when rostered onto normal duties.

Qantas unveilled its new uniforms in April this year, with designer Martin Grant predictably ditching the Aboriginal prints of the current kit in favour of clean European-inspired cuts based on a dusky French navy incorporating elements of 'Qantas red' with the odd playful fuchsia pink highlight.

35 individual pieces make up the new Qantas look. Georges Antony
35 individual pieces make up the new Qantas look
Georges Antony

“I didn't try and push it to a specifically Australian aesthetic” Grant explained. “I thought we already have Qantas being Australian – that is almost enough.”

As the cornerstone of his design, Grant says “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."

“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."

The total wardrobe comprises some 35 individual garments, including a 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 hat and trenchcoat are certain to divide public opinion!. Georges Antony
The hat and trenchcoat are certain to divide public opinion!
Georges Antony

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.

No, this isn't the athletes' parade at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.... Mark Sherborne, Qantas
No, this isn't the athletes' parade at the Olympic Games opening ceremony...
Mark Sherborne, Qantas

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.

Ruby red and fuchsia pink offer eye-catching highlights against the French navy base. Mark Sherborne/Qantas
Ruby red and fuchsia pink offer eye-catching highlights against the French navy base
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

Underneath the trenchcoat, the blokes of Qantas wear a single-breasted, single-buttoned structured jacket and a V-neck knit vest.

... but no pink for the boys, who stay in the red & navy comfort zone. Mark Sherborne/Qantas
... but no pink for the boys, who stay in the red & navy comfort zone
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

Here's supermodel Miranda Kerr sporting one of the cabin uniforms...

Miranda Kerr rocks the Red Roo's new look. Mark Sherborne/Qantas
Miranda Kerr rocks the Red Roo's new look
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

... alongside designer Martin Grant.

Miranda Kerr shows how great a uniform can look. Mark Sherborne, Qantas
Miranda Kerr shows how great a uniform can look
Mark Sherborne, Qantas

This video shot by Qantas captures the 'fashion show' launch of the uniform's debut.


A blast from the past...

Take a stroll down memory lane with this gallery of Qantas uniforms over the decades, beginning with the soon-to-be-retired kit.

Introduced in 2003 and refreshed in 2008, it was created by Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey (below, centre).

Those sharp black threads 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 striped 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."

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

How exciting!!! Thanks David!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 106

@TRB Your comments are always entertaining - lol

The outfits look ok but I'd ditch the hats, which attract derogatory comments on websites such as Reddit/Cringepics & are frequently associated with the term 'neckbeard'.

Awwww thanks Agfox!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Oct 2013

Total posts 5

This uniform looks great, i saw one of the amabassadors wearing it in the terminal over the weekend and must say it's striking in person. Finally I see QF also have got it right with the promotional crew models for the promo shot - the four of them look fantastic, nice to see real faces instead of QF's past no faces bland advertising.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

Please do a story on which type of uniform CSM's, Flight Attendants and Ground Crew will be wearing closer to the changeover.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

from the info ive read..the female CSMs wear the red/ / red (2tone) version of the uniform...and FAs wear the red / pink version...what disappoints me is that ALL  male ties have a red me that's taking the 'safe' / boring!!!  option...the male F/A tie should compliment the female dress and have a pink insert as would truely give the male F/A uniform an 'edge'... are QF males that insecure in their 'masculinity'?? would be interesting to know if it was ever 'put on the table'..and if so...who voted it out!! ....


07 Jun 2013

Total posts 18

I don't think the QF males are insecure of their masculinity, specially since a good number of male FA's are probably gay and would've probably been welcoming to the idea of pink (which I think would've looked great as well).

Having said that, even though QF had a uniform panel, I think the final say would've come down to Martin Grant. It's unfortunate but oh well.


19 Jun 2013

Total posts 59

The suits of the male uniforms look fine, but I'm not so sure about the female ones. The dress on the far right of the pic, with the combo of the black, red & purple is just jarring, rather than "striking". Then, the combo of the trench coat & hat?  What were they thinking? I think it make her look like a some character called Vampira or something, from a spoof spy movie.  Same applies to the male overcoats, although they perhaps look more "Thunderbirds" or "Lost in Space" than spy spoof.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Oct 2013

Total posts 5

I'm no expert airbear but I think you might be colour blind !! The colours of the uniform are french navy, pink and red. Not purple, black and red as you suggested. Might be a little hard to tell with the blue and black but I'm not sure how you made purple out of fuschia pink ! 

From what I observed this uniform is far more striking in person. Cheers


19 Jun 2013

Total posts 59

Hi bigtraveller... I really don't believe I'm colour blind! So OK... let's call the "black", "slate grey" or "gun metal". Red is red is red. The "purple" vs "fuscia pink" is a matter of perception. Either way, I still think it still hits you over the head. 

Since I rarely fly with QF anymore, I'll take your word for it, that it looks better in real life. Cheers!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2013

Total posts 18

I think that they are fantastic. Well done Qantas

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