Getting the Chic Back

Part 1 of the Black and Paper Feature

The Glamorous spirit of Italy is being recaptured by Alitalia.   The flagship carriers renaissance begins with  the style and chic looks of new crew uniforms.

Why the new uniforms after so many years?

Renovating a company must include the renewal of its image. And what is more distinctive for an airline than its uniform? This is especially true for Alitalia, which globally represents Italy, something that throughout the world is synonymous with style and timeless elegance.

Our aim was to create a new look of our people which would capture the spirit of Alitalia today as it continues on its journey of renewal and growth. Our new stylish collection of uniforms emulates the beauty of Italy and represents Italian excellence around the world. We want our customers to experience the best of Italy in everything that we do, and there is no better way of highlighting our desire than with new uniforms.

Who is the designer of the new looks?

The new Alitalia Collection was created by Italian haute couturier designer Ettore Bilotta.  All of his creation matches the best of Italian tailoring tradition and the luxury textiles highlighting the purely formal linearity characterizing its design. He studied at IED in Rome. He started his career in high-fashion with Radiosa, a bridal fashion house then moved to fashion house Lella Curiel. In the mid-1990s he collaborated with the iconic Italian label Lancetti.  After this he worked he designed Etihad Airways in 2003.

Alitalia’s brief to the designer was to create a new style which would be timeless and enduring, by using classic Italian elements combined with everyday practicality for both male and female Alitalia team. Bilotta used red to symbolize Italian passion, and green to represent the best of Italy, its countryside, and the richness of its culture and history.  The female cabin crew uniforms are a burgundy that slowly changes to a lighter red. This effect was achieved by using a chevron print design. For the female ground crew, a charcoal grey gradually changing to green was also realized using the same print design. This design process is utilized on each garment, including a white blouse featuring tapering chevron print columns in red for cabin crew and green for ground crew.

All female crew members receive three options: a one piece dress, a two piece jacket and skirt and a trouser option, including shirt and cardigan. As for the accessories, they receive high or low heel shoes, overcoat, foulard, winter scarf, belt, stockings, handbag, hat, gloves, make up kits and bag with buttons.

All male crew members receive a collection composed by jacket, shirt, tie, waistcoat (for male cabin crew and male airport lounges team) or pullover (for male ground team), pochette, trousers, belt, gloves, handbag, shoes, overcoat, winter scarf, bags with buttons and make up kits for male.


Why the La Dolce Vita references of Chic?

The collection takes inspiration from the glamorous Golden Days of Italian fashion in the 1950s and 1960s – when women always were very elegant, wearing beautiful hats and gloves – and Italy’s rich heritage, culture and national identity. To represent the essence of Italy in the new collection, the designer studied Italian architecture, monuments, and everyday lifestyles but elected to draw inspiration from the country’s landscapes, eventually focusing on the terraces of Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. These terraces were the inspiration for the hat design.

The new uniform also celebrates the people of Alitalia, their professionalism, style and passion for the airline.

Even the accessories are unusual and distinctive. The bags of the female uniforms are elegant and refined. For cabin crew are in wood green, and for ground staff are in burgundy such as all the leather accessories. The shoes worn by the personnel are handmade in the historic workshops of the Marche. The gloves that accompany the new Alitalia uniforms come from the heart of Naples, famous throughout the world for its tradition of leather craftsmanship.

For accessory lovers, tell us about the new crew bags and other details.

The bags for the male uniform and other accessories are more formal, from the shoes to the waistcoats, cardigans, scarves and overcoat that showcase the typical Italian male elegance. The design on the pouchette and on the ties are perfectly balance the uniform using modern Italian contemporary and classic design elements to create items which are in vogue.

Both the foulards of the female uniform and the ties for male are made from the finest silk selected from the best supplier in Como.

Part 2 of this article will be on line soon.

By Breck Graham