Heading from the catwalks of Paris to the aisles of Hainan Airlines aircraft, these chic new cabin uniforms have been turning the heads of fashionistas and airline watchers alike.
The airline used Paris Couture Week and a show by fashion designer Laurence Xu to unveil the Chinese carrier’s fifth- generation uniforms it described as combining “elements of classical, time-honoured Oriental aesthetics and the silhouette of a modern Western suit
The uniforms are based on the Cheongsam, a stylish traditional Chinese dress for women usually worn on more formal occasions.
They feature a collar overlaid with a pattern of auspicious clouds contrasted by alternating sea and mountains on the lower hem.
This is designed to draw a Hainan aircraft that has just taken off, and the roc, a mythical bird denoting strength, as it lifts into flight.
“The apron is designed like a tulip-shaped dress to emphasize, in equal measure, elegance, femininity, aesthetics and practicality,’’ the airline says. “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. “
The new uniforms replace the fourth generation in use since 2010 and reflect a two-year collaboration with Xu that involved more than 1000 design blueprints and over 1000 samples of garments and accessories.
Founded in 1993 by billionaire Chen Feng, Hainan is a full-service carrier mainly operating Boeing 737, Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 aircraft on a growing network of domestic and international routes.
It is headquartered in Haikou, the biggest city on the Chinese tropical island of Hainan, and is China’s fourth biggest carrier, competing with state-owned rivals China, Eastern, China Southern and Air China.
Hainan’s parent, HNA Group, is a diverse conglomerate with stakes in a number of carriers including Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express, Tianjin Airlines, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Comair and Virgin Australia.