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Purple Rain: New Uniforms by Zac Posen for Delta

The much anticipated launch of Delta’s new frontline uniforms is here, and it’s…not exactly what we expected.
The 'new' retro look for Delta flight attendants as designed by Zac Posen

The ‘new’ retro look for Delta flight attendants as designed by Zac Posen

Delta’s current uniform (also designed by Zac Posen) is in line with the company’s image – clean cut, professional, corporate but with a bit of an edge. It also features the main color scheme of the airline, red white and blue (America!).
The new uniform goes in a different direction and is a bit funky by Delta’s standards, to say the least.
Ground staff will also be getting a makeover with the new uniforms

Ground staff will also be getting a makeover with the new uniforms

They seem to take a retro type twist with the gloves and hat, but also seem to be almost futuristic.
Per Delta’s press release,
Delta and leading New York fashion designer Zac Posen together unveiled an exclusive uniform collection today, which will be worn by more than 60,000 of the airline’s frontline employees including customer service agents, flight attendants, ramp agents and technicians. The contemporary line fuses together bold color palettes and classic styles, while paying homage to the heritage and iconic design from decades past to elevate the look and brand of Delta employees.
 And they even worked with employees and crew to come to a consensus of how the design should look and what crew felt were most appropriate in their dynamic working environment:
“The world’s best employees deserve the best uniforms and this new collection is classically influenced, yet modern,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “Zac and the Delta team worked closely with our people to create timeless and fashionable pieces that reflect the thoughtful and innovative spirit of Delta.”
So what do we say about the new change? Well, kudos to Delta for going a different route with a less corporate look especially compared to main rivals American and United. Delta also went for quality, sourcing the material from outdoor brand Land’s End, a stark difference from the bottom of the barrel bargain basement deal that United brokered with mass uniform producer Cintas.
There are multiple different options to choose from in the new uniform

There are multiple different options to choose from in the new uniform

And also bonus points for being all inclusive in the photos and including actual employees of all shapes, sizes and colors – anything looks good on a supermodel, so it’s important to tailor your uniform to everybody in a fashionable yet practical manner.
It is indeed odd that they went purple when there’s no purple in Delta’s logo or image, and it does seem like one of those uniforms that will look dated pretty fast – though maybe the retro vibe is what DL was going for. There’s also something to be said about consistency in a uniform, so we find it a bit odd that there’s five or six variations and choices to the cabin crew’s uniform alone.
There's also one red option and suitless option for male cabin crew, adding to the plethora of options Delta has put forth.

There’s also one red option and suitless option for male cabin crew, adding to the plethora of options Delta has put forth.

And one last point – and this is meant with absolutely no malice or offense. US crews are not exactly known for their grooming, nor are US airlines known for enforcing grooming standards unlike their European and Asian counterparts. The more bits and pieces there are to a uniform (and this one has many) the more you stand the risk of even more inconsistency, some wearing the hat others no, or some not bothering with some of the small details of the uniform.
Just a thought.
At the end of the day it’s on trend but we suppose we’ll have to wait till we see it in person to make a final judgement.
For us the jury is out on this one – is it for you, or are you solidly on one side or the other with Delta’s new look?
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