Ozwald Boateng to design new British Airways uniforms

Ozwald Boateng OBE is to design a new uniform collection for British Airways staff, including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and ramp workers.

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Ozwald Boateng OBE at London Heathrow
Ozwald Boateng OBE at London Heathrow (Image Credit: Neale Haynes for British Airways)

For some time, it has been expected that British Airways will introduce a new uniform. Today, Tuesday 26 September 2018, BA confirmed that the renowned designer and Savile Row tailor Oswald Boateng OBE will create a new uniform for all airline staff.

This includes pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and ramp workers. It will replace the current uniform designed by Julien Macdonald in 2004.

BA has not said exactly when the new uniform will be introduced, other than it will form a part of the airline’s centenary celebrations in 2019.

Realistically, given the number of individual items that need to be designed and the time it will take to provide these to tens of thousands of staff, it will be some time before most passengers will see it.

There are also a huge number of factors before any final design can be approved. Aside from its aesthetics, cost will be a consideration as will many practicalities. It has to be suitable for working in cold and hot climates, meet safety requirements and withstand whatever working in a cabin environment can (literally) throw at staff.

Whilst the current Julien Macdonald design has stood the test of time, it is fair to say that how it is worn does vary widely and at times it can be unflattering – particularly for male members of staff.

Oswald Boateng has a distinguished career in fashion of more than 30 years. He has designed clothes for many well known names including Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. It can be said with confidence that the final design will look very sharp, very contemporary, and probably not afraid to use colour.

British Airways staff wearing historic uniforms from BA and its predecessor airlines
British Airways staff wearing historic uniforms from BA and its predecessor airlines (Image Credit: British Airways)

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