Air France uniforms throughout the years. Très chic!

Early Inspirations

The first “uniforms” for male cabin crew were based on a wardrobe inspired by that of sleeping car waiters, respecting the codes of savoir-vivre of the luxury hotel industry: white jacket, navy pants, white cap, navy spencer with collar. The braids and insignia mark a hierarchy that guarantees order, a military style that the men’s civil aviation uniform has kept intact to this day.
In 1945, Air France organized the first competitive recruitment process for stewardesses. The uniform became indispensable. Selected by the stewardesses, the Georgette Renal fashion house planned a wardrobe of basic clothes: suit, summer dress and coat. The hostess took on the look of a schoolgirl off to war. In 1951, the booming company chose Georgette de Trèze to modernize and feminize the stewardesses’ look, reflecting the spirit of the 1950s.
The old uniform no longer suited the active role Air France wanted its stewardesses to play. In March 1962, Air France launched a new model designed by Marc Bohan at Dior, introducing the “Air France” model into its haute couture collection. The overall color of the uniform lightened to Marceau blue, and the navy-blue tambourine with the Air France crest replaced the beret. Every detail of the new uniform evokes the refinement of haute couture. The first couture uniform, it is the one that has left the greatest mark on flight personnel.

At the end of the 60s, the famous couturier Cristobal Balenciaga designed the new Air France uniforms. The project was limited to flight attendants, who were given winter suits in a very “aeronautical” style. In 1971, Balenciaga added two outfits (winter and summer) to distinguish stewardesses on the ground. By the end of the year, the stewardesses were complaining that the designers weren’t paying enough attention to their working conditions.

Read more: https://corporate.airfrance.com/en/creation

Designers

The biggest names in design have put their talents to work at Air France, bringing aesthetics and prestige to air travel.
When, in the 1930s, Air France set out to conquer the air travel industry, its strategy was immediately organized according to the luminous rules of modernity. A progressive, humanist modernity. To achieve this, the company called on the most daring designers and architects of the time.

In the 1950s, Air France called on Raymond Loewy, the “pope” of design. The growth in traffic demanded a new, more industrial approach to business. As an ambassador of the “French art de vivre”, Air France had no intention of sacrificing its image on the altar of rationality.

Air France will never cease to be interested in the aesthetics of lines and shapes, whether for tableware designed by Andrée Putman or Philippe Starck, for seats or, of course, for the framework of its cabins and agencies, calling on the greatest names such as Raymond Loewy, Pierre Gautier-Delaye, Charlotte Perriand or Andrée Putman.

In 2009, professional design circles saluted the permanence of Air France’s visual strategy, awarding the Brandimage agency – which supports the company in its choices and achievements – the Stratégies du Design Global grand prize. And in 2012, the Hall M lounge in Terminal 2E at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (designed by Noé Duchaufour Lawrance) was awarded the “Janus du commerce”.

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