Fashion meets flight: Design powerhouse Emilia Wickstead onboard to create next Air New Zealand uniform
The New Zealand designer has made a name for herself on the world stage, designing clothing for influential global figures and A-listers. Now, she will be creating New Zealand's most iconic and recognisable uniform.
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says Emilia stood out after the selection panel were blown away by her concepts.
"We received expressions of interest from more than 40 New Zealand designers and heard pitches from the country's leading design talent, showcasing the depth and breadth of New Zealand fashion, making it an incredibly tough decision. Ultimately, Emilia stood out as the perfect partner.
"Emilia presented outstanding initial designs that were creative, unique, will set Air New Zealand apart on the global stage. She also demonstrated her understanding of the importance in creating a uniform that is both functional and comfortable for our people.
"Her ability to create modern yet timeless pieces perfectly fits with what we were looking for in a design partner – someone who could create a uniform that our people can wear with pride now and into the future.
"Emilia has built an incredibly successful brand, designing for some of the most high profile customers in the world and we think our people deserve to be dressed by the very best too. We're thrilled to have Emilia onboard and couldn't be prouder to welcome her to the Air New Zealand whānau."
Emilia Wickstead says it's a privilege to be selected as the next Air New Zealand uniform designer.
"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.
"Emilia Wickstead designs have a timeless quality, with simple yet effective details that lend fresh modernity and ease. It's important to me that these uniforms are an extension of this, tempered with creative twists and innovation to create a distinctive uniform that will stand out for years to come."
The designer selection was made following a competitive pitch process involving a number of leading New Zealand designers who were asked to consider key selection criteria including sustainability, functionality, safety, and te ao Māori.
The next phase of the project will see Air New Zealand collaborate closely with Emilia Wickstead for design refinements, onboard trials, and uniform wearer consultation before the final designs are revealed in late 2024.
The Emilia Wickstead Air New Zealand uniforms will be rolled out progressively to more than 5,000 Air New Zealand cabin crew, front of house ground staff, and pilots over the next few years.
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Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.
About Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 104 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 7.3 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. Last year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row.
Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.
About Star Alliance
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.