China’s Hainan Airlines has Crew Uniforms right out of Paris Couture Week
Combining classical Oriental elements and the silhouette of contemporary fashion, Hainan Airlines crew uniforms by Laurence Xu from Paris Couture Week, returns sophistication and style to the friendly skies.
In an apparent throwback to the golden age of flying, China’s Hainan Airlines recently introduced crew uniforms recalling the old glamour of classic air travel. Launched at the 2017 Laurence Xu Couture Show, China’s Hainan Airlines crew uniforms took centrestage at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand on July 4, 2017, during Paris Couture Week Fall/Winter 2017.
China’s Hainan Airlines has Crew Uniforms right of Paris Couture Week
Combining classical Oriental elements and the silhouette of contemporary fashion, Hainan Airlines crew uniforms by Laurence Xu from Paris Couture Week, returns sophistication and style to the friendly skies. Laurence Xu repurposed the allure of the Cheongsam, a stylish body-hugging traditional dress for women and designed the women’s aircrew uniforms with a collar overlaid with a pattern of auspicious clouds and a lower hem with a pattern alternating sea and mountains which contrasts with the collar’s clouds and sky – in a play of Chinese traditional iconography, Xu takes a bird of strength from Chinese mythology, the Roc and weaves an embroidered allegory of the flight of a Hainan airliner.
“We are not only creating a new uniform but also showing the internationalised image of our airline. Especially on international routes, we would like to let passengers know that China is modern and trendy.” – Xu Fei, Brand Director, Hainan Airlines.
Where the traditional Qipao or Cheongsam typically ends at the tips of the shoulders, Xu’s Hainan airlines crew cheongsam features 3/4 sleeves strike a balance between sensuality and modesty, a gorgeous yet functional element which allows the Hainan aircrew to parlay their high level of competence and stellar service.
The apron is designed like a tulip-shaped dress to emphasize, in equal measure, elegance, femininity, aesthetics and practicality. The Western-style draping incorporates popular international fashion elements alongside a sense of high-quality professionalism. The fusion of traditional Chinese elements and popular international fashion created an Oriental masterpiece that turned heads in Paris.
Where Hainan Airline’s stewardesses enjoy sensuous patterned dresses, light grey caped coats, blazers and Western beret-style caps, while the stewards straddle two cultures – mandarin collar two-piece suits and the more traditional if western, double-breasted overcoats.
New Hainan Airlines couture uniforms part of Global Strategy
The new Laurence Xu Paris Couture Week Hainen airline uniforms replace fourth generation uniforms which have been in use since 2010. While the new couture uniform do not resemble the old uniforms, it does take iconic elements (the Oriental art-inspired patterns) and the grey colour scheme and updates it with a modern sensibility incorporating the hottest fashion trends. The decision to collaboration with Laurence Xu is a result of Hainan Airlines’ strategy to take a place among the world’s most prominent air carriers.
According to a 26 June 2017 Bloomberg article, Hainan Airlines Holding Co. is looking to bolster growth by buying assets on its own outside China and taking China’s fourth-largest carrier up the “value-chain” which will see it doubling down on international flights from the nation’s second tier cities.
“We now want to build new order and set new standards.” – President Sun Jianfeng, Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines has since recorded a 57% increase in international capacity, the highest growth with the most new international flights even when compared to the top four Chinese air carriers. With the new Xu Paris Couture uniforms, Hainan Airlines scored a PR coup. Looks like the effort of going through more than 1000 design blueprints and trying out more than one hundred samples of garments and accessories have paid off.
The uniforms are now an element of the masterful visual experience that has become part and parcel of what the airline’s domestic and international passengers are treated to when they fly with Hainan. Not too long ago, Hainan was in the news when they had to forcefully subdue an unruly passenger during a long flight delay. Before that, their ingenuity made news when Hainan Airlines partnered renowned international pianist Lang Lang in 2016, performing a piano serenade “in the clouds” for passengers on a flight.
The new Hainan uniforms will match with new Hainan Airlines international VIP lounges where renowned designer Dr. Patrick Leung has been invited to re-design the HNA club. The club provides business class and club member passengers with a comfortable environment amid multifunctional facilities.