British Airways (BA) has confirmed that British-born Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng OBE will be developing new designs for its 32,000 uniform-wearing staff.
Per a report by Businesstravellers.com, rumours of new uniforms to coincide with the carrier’s centenary celebrations in 2019 were discussed during a forum earlier this year, and BA has now confirmed that Boateng will follow in the line of designers including Paul Costelloe, Roland Klein, Baccart Weatherall, Hardy Amies and Julien MacDonald in designing the new threads.
In a release British Airways said that Boateng who is of Ghanaian descent “will be working closely with the airline’s employees throughout the development process, from shadowing them to understand their roles and how the uniforms need to perform, to design, testing and final delivery.”
Commenting on the news Alex Cruz, BA’s chairman and CEO, said:
“Our uniforms have been an iconic symbol of our brand throughout our 100-year history and our partnership with Ozwald will take us forward to the next chapter in our journey.”
“At a time when we’re investing for customers, new uniforms are a visual representation of investment in our people and we want them to feel proud when they wear the new uniform.”
Note that BA employs around 45,000 people, but of these only 32,000 wear uniforms, from flight crew and cabin crew, to customer service agents, special services, ramp operators, baggage handlers, cargo employees and engineers.
BA’s sister carrier Aer Lingus has also recently announced plans for new uniforms, to be created by Irish fashion designer Louise Kennedy, as part of a refresh which will see a new brand identity launched next year.
About Ozwald Boateng
Boateng’s parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1950s – he was born in 1967 in Muswell Hill, North London.
Boateng was inspired by the immaculate suits his father wore, and received his first suit from his mother aged eight: a double-breasted in purple mohair. At fourteen, he found a summer job sewing linings into suits.
He was mentored by Tommy Nutter, the success of the Paris show in 1994 enabled Boateng to open his boutique on Vigo Street, the south end of Savile Row, in 1995.
Boateng’s contemporary approach to menswear design helped to forge a new appreciation for Savile Row, and draw in a younger demographic. Boateng’s moved fully into Savile Row in June 2002.
In 2005, Boateng was honoured with a major 20-year retrospective event at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition recognised that he had by combining the highest standards of execution with a fresh, vibrant design philosophy, successfully captured the imagination of both the media and the public.
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