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Friday, September 17, 2021

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The Daily Star
New Etihad Airways uniforms take inflight couture to glamorous new heights
Etihad Airways revealed this month new uniforms at a spectacular show in Abu Dhabi, paving the way for a new age of glamorous and sophisticated flying.
Created by Italian haute couturier Ettore Bilotta at his atelier in Milan, the new uniform exudes a classic elegance seldom seen in the aisles of modern airliners.
It cleverly merges dramatic elements of old-world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways of London, New York, Milan and Tokyo.
The collection possesses a style which has come to characterize the Etihad Airways brand and which will enhance the airline’s reputation as the standard-bearer of superlative customer service.
Unveiled at a catwalk show held for global media, the launch has been timed to coincide with the arrival of Etihad Airways’ fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft, equipped with the airline’s revolutionary new cabins.
“Ettore, working with our teams, has once again delivered a new uniform which will showcase our brand with characteristic flair at every city on our ever-growing network,” said Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways.
“The world has been paying very close attention to us this year and our new collection will not disappoint. It is the embodiment of the Etihad Airways brand, service ethos and unshakable commitment to excellence, marking our arrival as a leader of sophisticated flying.”
Multiaward winning New York-based photographer Norman Jean Roy, whose prolific career includes work for leading publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, leading fashion brands and Hollywood studios, was commissioned by Etihad to capture a set of photographs of the new collection.
The photo shoot took place on the majestic sand dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa desert and on location at the exclusive Qasr al-Sarab desert resort.
The new uniforms will be introduced system-wide from Dec. 27 and will be worn by Etihad’s cabin crews and ground teams.
They feature new designs for the airline’s butlers in The Residence by Etihad, first-class in-flight chefs, business class food and beverage managers, cabin managers, cabin crew, flying nannies and airport and lounge teams.
“Since the launch of Etihad in 2003, I have come to know the airline, its teams and management, very intimately, and have developed a style which has evolved as the airline has grown,” Bilotta noted.
(Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways)
“For me it has essentially been about dressing a brand and an ethos,” he added.
Aubrey Tiedt, vice president of Guest Services, said the new uniforms should be seen as “pret-a-porter concept – a future lifestyle statement and homage to the golden age of glamorous flight.”
“It is about bringing back classic elegance, allure and richness to our men and women in a style which will become their signature look. No matter where you are in the world, you will know this is Etihad.”
Made from 100 percent Italian wool, the uniforms feature an intricate jacquard design and were made across Italy.
Additional manufacturing took place in Shanghai, Tunis and Bucharest by a team of approximately 400 staff.
Approximately 30 percent of the outfits were handmade or hand-stitched. Stylishly cut and fitted, each ensemble is easy to wear, flexible and practical, allowing cabin and ground personnel ease of movement as they carry out their duties.
The uniforms have been created incorporating almost all the colors of Etihad’s brand palette.
A warm chocolate brown has been chosen as the base color for the different uniform variations, with a deep purple accent color for cabin crew and lounge teams, and a burnt orange accent for ground crews and special services teams.
Bilotta has also taken the unusual step of breaking up the main primary shades by introducing all the secondary colors as accents on blouses and accessories.
Female cabin crew, ground and lounge teams will wear a skirt suit, accessorized with fitted gloves, belt, hat and scarf.
Hats worn by the crew are now more aerodynamic and “retro,” inspired by Hollywood’s iconic stars and the sweeping formations of the Emirati desert sand dunes.
The new style is classic and enduring, reminiscent of the much-admired designer collections of airline crews in the heyday of international air travel.
Male cabin crew will wear a three-piece suit, while male ground crew will wear a two-piece suit. Accessories will also include belts and gloves.
Male lounge agents will wear new food and beverage uniforms in line with those worn by the onboard food and beverage managers.
A classic trench coat adds a sense of catwalk drama to all the variations of the uniform and can be worn in all types of weather.
The lightweight coat is versatile and foldable, reducing cost and allowing easy carriage.
All gloves, scarves and neckties feature intricate geometric patterns and fretwork.
The same level of detail is also evident on matching accessories such as new slim-line handbags, which have been made to the dimensions of a tablet device.
For Etihad’s acclaimed butlers, the airliner has combined historic British butler attire with new-world design to reflect its modern and globally recognized style.
The fabric colors used for this uniform are warm brown for the long-tailed jackets and ties, ivory for the trousers and waistcoats and white for the shirt and gloves.
Style and image have been re- examined in line with the new Etihad collection.
The bold fiery makeup and lipstick tones used previously have been replaced with calmer shades, which are currently de rigueur and which also perfectly complement the earthy colors now being introduced in the collection.
Etihad has collaborated with leading makeup experts MAC to provide their products for crew use at the airline’s “Style & Image Suites” at its Training Academy and its recently opened Innovation Training Academy.
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