IN-FLIGHT FASHION: To mark its 85th anniversary, Turkish Airlines is giving its cabin crew employees a fresh look, thanks to new uniforms from Ettore Bilotta.
Their spruced-up look includes dresses, jackets, pants, blouses, hats, gloves, bags and accessories in a combination of deep red and anthracite. To relay a more cohesive image for the airline, the company will also streamline uniforms for pilots, on-board chefs and ground service employees. All those staffers will soon have a new home base, when what is being called “Istanbul New Airport” bows next month after three years of construction.
The Milan-based designer incorporated classic elements of Turkish design borrowed from traditional patterns in artisanal glassware, ceramics and calligraphy with contemporary accents. To give his finery more of an of-the-moment spin, the airline tapped British photographer Miles Aldridge to shoot the campaign to launch the cabin uniform collection on location in Turkey. Aldridge said the Italian designer’s new uniforms “hark back to a golden age of fashion from the Fifties, but with a contemporary twist.”
His new designs are meant to signal a new era and brand identity for the carrier, which was started in 1933 with five planes. Turkish Airlines now has 325 passenger and cargo aircrafts flying to 122 countries and a total of 304 destinations. Thousands of nonTurkish Airlines passengers will also be seeing Bilotta’s designs, since the new airport is expected to be one of the world’s busiest in terms of passengers.
The collection’s shapes and color palette are meant to be reminiscent of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul with a ‘flow detail’ as a sign of the energy flowing through Istanbul as an intersection between East and West. The concept was developed by consulting with fashion leaders and Turkish Airlines’ cabin crew members. Those employees wear-tested the items during long-haul trial flights to see how they held up in different climates.
Turkish Airlines chairman of the board and the executive committee M. İlker Aycı said, “Turkish Airlines is always thrilled to collaborate with such creative and distinctive talents which blend elegant and practical design. While maintaining traditional elements of Turkish design and culture, our new uniforms are professional and stay true to a culture of hospitality, just like our airline.”
Istanbul was the starting point for inspiration for Bilotta, who described the city as having been “a melting pot for art and civilization for centuries and has a rare richness as a common heritage of many cultures. I wanted to bring elements from traditional calligraphy and mosaics together with the new interpretations of Turkish motifs, which emphasize modern lines, into foulards and ties to reflect a contrast and duality.”