British Airways is about to celebrate a milestone. The Heathrow-based airline will celebrate 100 years of being in business this year. However, the celebration won’t include new uniforms like the airline had intended. New uniforms won’t arrive until some point in the middle of 2020. British Airways made a big announcement earlier this year to reveal that Ozwald Boateng of Saville Row would be in charge of designing the airline’s new look. Boateng is famed for his affinity for bold colors and patterns.
British Airways certainly has the budget and the talent needed to pull off the task of rolling out new uniforms. However, the airline still wasn’t able to get the project done in time to celebrate its big birthday this year. It turns out that trying to design and create a new uniform that will be used by thousands of employees across many groups is harder than it looks.
British Airways needs to conjure up looks that are functional enough for its hardworking staff members and stylish enough to create a posh vibe when passengers come into contact with airline employees. Trying to push out a new design across the company during the window that was given simply couldn’t happen. It has been reported that British Airways and Ozwald Boateng reached an agreement to delay rolling out the new uniform instead of trying to rush out something that wasn’t fully ready.
British Airways was no doubt attempting to avoid a uniform-related blunder like the one experienced by American Airlines in 2016. Employees of American Airlines claimed that the Twin Hill uniforms that the airline introduced as part of a redesign effort were toxic after a multitude of physical ailments were reported. Several employees decided to bring lawsuits against American Airlines after they experienced skin rashes, headaches and respiratory issues.
It is believed that many of the problems that were experienced stemmed from the fabrics and chemicals used in the production of the uniform line.
British Airways has been shadowing staff members in an effort to learn more about what they’re looking for as far as uniforms go. While the new uniforms won’t officially be rolled out until 2020, some passengers may get sneak peeks this year. That’s because British Airways is set to begin some limited test wears by as early as this summer.
British Airways is following in the footsteps of Delta Air Lines when it comes to choosing a big-name designer. Delta famously enlisted the help of Zac Posen when designing its new uniforms. Posen and Delta came together to create styles that feature sharp, bold looks with travel-inspired color schemes. It took Posen several years to design, test and edit the uniforms he created for Delta before an official debut was made.