Vivienne Westwood Designed for Virgin Atlantic Crew Uniform

Virgin Atlantic passengers can get a sneak peek of the airline’s new uniform designs from now on when wearer trials of the Vivienne Westwood uniform at airports, in Clubhouses and on-board the aircraft. Over 180 specially selected staff including Virgin Atlantic crew, pilots, ground staff, Clubhouse employees and Virgin Holidays staff will trial the uniform for a number of months to ensure it is both comfortable and practical before the designs and fabrics are finalised and sent to the manufacturer. Staff will provide feedback after each flight or shift so adjustments can be made ahead of the full launch in 2014. The uniform will be assessed on fit, comfort, breathability, ease of movement, creasing before and after the shift, look and feel of the uniform after laundering and how the uniform handles marks and stains.
Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic announced its partnership with Vivienne Westwood to redesign the airline’s uniform across all areas of the business. With original design and sustainability being vital factors to both Richard Branson and Vivienne Westwood, this long-term partnership aims to bring these ideals together in an exciting and innovative collaboration. Vivienne Westwood and her team had a number of practical challenges to consider when designing the airline’s new look. 
Approximately 7,500 staff wear the Virgin Atlantic uniform in different climates around the world. The designs of the garments need to cater for staff working in New York during the winter to high summer season in St Lucia. Staff also carry out a variety of job roles, all with differing levels of movement; and the uniform must be comfortable to wear for everyone with a degree of flexibility.  
Fabrics must be durable in order to withstand constant wear and tear. For the suiting garments the team have used fabrics with cutting-edge nano-technology which repels stains and enables clothing to retain its colour and finish for longer therefore the fabrics retain their shape over time and look pristine. 
With sustainability a key factor in this new design, all items are being development with Closed Loop Recycling in mind. This new technology takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibres that can be woven again into new fabrics and in turn new clothing.
Luke Miles, Head of Design for Virgin Atlantic commented: "Our staff, and particularly our cabin crew, are some of the most envied in the airline industry when it comes to uniforms. Our iconic red outfits are globally renowned and when we make changes to the design, it isn't something we take lightly. These wearer trials are a key part of the feedback process we engage in with our teams around with world. The uniforms have to look sleek, all the while being practical and easy to wear, its a challenging design brief but means so much to our staff and customers so we have to make sure we get it right. We're confident our Vivienne Westwood designs will continue to turn heads in the airport and in the sky."

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