Air India has unveiled its much anticipated, brand-new collection of uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew, marking the arrival of a new age of inflight couture.
Crafted by Indian celebrity couturier, Manish Malhotra, in his Mumbai atelier, the new uniforms feature an array of colours and timeless designs. The collection mirrors a rare, harmonious blend of rich Indian heritage and aesthetics with 21st-century style, elegance, and comfort.
The new uniforms will be introduced in a phased manner over the next few months, starting with the entry of service of Air India’s first Airbus A350.
Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, said: “Air India’s crew uniforms are amongst the world’s most storied in aviation history, and we firmly believe that Manish Malhotra’s innovative ensemble will script an exciting new chapter for Air India’s future narrative. It perfectly captures the essence of our new identity, service principles, and our pursuit of setting new benchmarks in global aviation.”
Malhotra’s take on modern Indian style complements Air India’s recently unveiled new global brand identity as the flag-bearer of a more confident, progressive, and resurgent new India.
The female cabin crew attire features a ready-to-wear ombré saree with intricate patterns reminiscent of Indian heritage architecture (jharokha) and the Vista (new Air India logo icon), paired with a comfortable blouse and blazer. The ready-to-wear sarees can be optionally worn with comfortable pants, which provides greater flexibility to the female cabin crew to choose the style they most identify with and brings a unique East-meets-West look.
The ombré sarees for the senior female cabin crew will be aubergine-to-burgundy, combined with aubergine blazers, exuding a balance of authority and sophistication. Conversely, junior female cabin crew will wear vibrant red-to-purple ombré sarees combined with red blazers, embodying youthfulness and energy.
Manish Malhotra said: “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to design the uniforms for Air India. It is a privilege to be able to contribute to the national flag-bearer and showcase the elegance and charm of Indian fashion. My aim was to create uniforms that capture the essence of India’s diverse culture and traditions while also embodying a modern and sophisticated look. By incorporating quintessential hues that are symbolic to India, I hope that these uniforms not only make the crew feel proud but also leave a lasting impression on the guests, representing the warmth and hospitality that India is known for.”
The hallmark technique of ombrés is a signature attributed to Malhotra, reflecting his deep-rooted fondness for traditional attire and gradients. The colour palette of the new uniforms comprises deep red, burgundy, aubergine, and accents of gold, paying homage to India’s rich cultural heritage.
The well-fitting uniforms for both male and female cabin crew are practical and suited for them to perform in-flight duties with ease of movement. The new uniform designs were developed in close consultation with Air India’s cabin crew representatives and the airline’s In-flight Services team, who also conducted an extensive testing exercise for the new designs.
The cockpit crew’s uniform features a classic black double-breasted suit with a print inspired by the Vista, signifying professionalism, timelessness, and the gravitas of the flying profession.
Malhotra has also curated footwear that blends style and comfort, allowing each step to resonate with the grace and poise inherent in Air India’s sartorial overhaul. The female cabin crew will wear dual-tone (black and burgundy) block heels, and the male cabin crew will wear comfortable black Brogues. The uniforms include pearl earrings and sling bags for the female cabin crew.
“Air India has been in the world’s spotlight for some time. We are confident that our new crew uniforms will rise to the heightened expectations, distinctly making a statement that defines the very best of Indian heritage and hospitality. Travellers across continents will be able to instantly recognise these uniforms as the new Air India,” Campbell Wilson said.
Malhotra has meticulously crafted uniforms not only for Air India’s cabin crew and pilots, but also for ground staff, engineers, and security personnel, which will be revealed in due course.
Sustainability and quality have been the cornerstones of the design and production process of these new uniforms. All fabrics and garments are proudly sourced and tailored in India.
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