Air New Zealand has officially announced its collaboration with London-based Kiwi fashion designer Emilia Wickstead to create a new uniform that will become an iconic representation of New Zealand.
Emilia Wickstead, who shows at London Fashion Week, was selected by a panel which considered over 40 New Zealand designers. In a statement Air New Zealand said it was Emilia’s exceptional initial designs, characterised by creativity and uniqueness, that set her apart. She also demonstrated a keen understanding of the importance of creating a uniform that is not only stylish but equally functional and comfortable for Air New Zealand’s team.
Leanne Geraghty, Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Officer, commended Emilia’s ability to craft modern yet timeless pieces that align with the airline’s vision.
Emilia Wickstead said: “I could not be prouder, or more excited, to have been selected as Air New Zealand’s next uniform designer. This is a true passion project for me; one that further connects me with my homeland Aotearoa, and the community and places that I love.”
“My approach to the uniform centres around a deep respect for New Zealand’s cultural heritage. First and foremost, it is inspired by people. I’m a big believer that clothing can be transformative, uplifting and empowering, and my hope is that the new uniforms will instil a sense of pride and purpose in Air New Zealand’s incredible, world-class team.”
The selection process involved various leading New Zealand designers who considered criteria such as sustainability, functionality, safety, and te ao Māori. The project’s next phase will involve close collaboration between Air New Zealand and Emilia Wickstead to refine the designs, conduct onboard trials, and seek input from uniform wearers. The final uniform designs will be unveiled in late 2024.
The uniforms will gradually roll out to over 5,000 cabin crew, front of house ground staff, and pilots in the coming years.