Jo'burg: The runway will never be the same again. So says Craig Port, one of South Africa’s most popular designers who recently launched his new line of prêt-a-porter cabin crew uniforms for the ever-so-stylish kulula.com. The new look took to the skies in early February and the transition to the trendier uniform will be completed by the end of the month.
Nadine Damen, kulula’s Marketing Manager says, "kulula turned 10 last year and with this comes a wiser, wittier and smarter approach to flying the high skies. So, like any stylish fashionista worth her stilettos, we gave our much-loved crew a designer makeover that enhances our best assets beautifully."
Customised to fit each of the 200 crew members, the uniforms presented an exciting design challenge for Port. "Creating fashion for everyday wear is more frivolous and fun. kulula’s new uniform on the other hand had to look great while being functional and comfortable to work in."
He goes on to say that the design also needed to command respect, pride and trust for the kulula staff so that fans treat them as the safety officers that they are. "In the past the uniforms were quite informal – jeans and sneakers. While that was a great fit for kulula’s fun and casual brand image, it was important that the new uniform reflect the serious job done by cabin crew."
The result is a chic new uniform that is smart and will hold its own against international designs.
Its launch is cleverly timed to coincide with the airline’s refreshed business approach. "When we launched in 2001, we revolutionised air travel. Since then we’ve come a long way and have evolved from the funny comedian to a more sophisticated, yet quirky brand" says Damen.
Besides a changing aviation industry that has seen more low-cost competitors enter the market and operational costs and taxes sore, a key influencer behind the brand’s more mature image is most notably its fans.
"Our fans have grown-up with us over the years and today they are unpretentious urbanites who are value seekers, looking for the best deal on airfares and service with a witty smile. Our cabin crew play a major role in providing this, so it goes without saying that they need to be dressed for high-flying success," concludes Damen.
The new look will also be worn by the Comair ground staff at all the airports that kulula and their sister company British Airways flies to.