On the cartwalk: A look back at the old, as Air New Zealand launches search for the new

On the cartwalk: A look back at the old, as Air New Zealand launches search for the new

There are a few things in life that will divide public opinion.

In New Zealand, these would include a new All Blacks coach, what Hilary Barry is wearing on television, and a new uniform for the country’s pride and joy, Air New Zealand.

But, the time has come for the airline to ditch its green, pink and black apparel, and search for the airline’s new look.

Sustainability, functionality, safety, and comfort will be the core considerations with the new uniform, not to mention the fact the airline’s staff will be walking the cartwalk in front of the world.

Opinion was divided when the airline revealed its current look in January 2010. A predominantly pink uniform designed by top New Zealand designer Trelise Cooper.

Travel blogger Megan Singleton wrote about her dislike of the new uniform on the day of its reveal.

“I believe if you look hard enough you can find something good to say about pretty much anything, but I am struggling here,” she wrote.

“Imagine pulling your eye mask off to hot pink seats after 12 hours with a sleeping tablet? And pink?! It hardly smacks of New Zealand. More like mardi gras or a cosmopolitan at Soul Bar.”

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the airline’s eyes are looking to the future, and the uniform needs to reflect that.

“After 12 years with our current designs, it’s time to revisit and refresh our uniforms to ensure they continue to be a perfect fit for our people and align with our recently announced future cabin experience.

“Alongside our Koru, the Air New Zealand uniform is one of our most important brand assets and is recognised around the world.”

Of course Trelise Cooper’s design wasn’t the first look to strut its stuff down the aisle of Aotearoa’s aircraft. Air New Zealand has a history of being bold in all aspects of its branding, especially its uniforms.

Take a look at some of its previous fashion statements:

This 1960’s look designed by Barbara Torrance could easily be the result you get if you were to google retro airline uniforms:

Meanwhile this look, when Air New Zealand operated a separate domestic airline called NAC was known as the jellybean or lollipop, for obvious reasons. From the 1970s, it could possibly look more at home in an episode of The Jetsons than onboard a modern airliner:

The Jetsons look

Meanwhile this Nina Ricci designed uniform is very much of its time, and reflects the airline’s use of teal throughout its design history:

Teal is real.

The Nineties. Need we say more. These crew members were probably listening to Jump by Kris Kros and I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred on a homemade mixtape and their state of the art walkman’s:

How good is that new 747 we just got?

And, finally the airline’s current look:

Air New Zealand’s soon to be replaced look.

We won’t know what bold moves Air New Zealand may take with its next material move until its new uniforms are revealed in 2025.

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