Japan Airlines has this week unveiled their new employee uniforms, which will debut as of April 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Japan Airlines said that in early 2019 they reached out to “customers and fans” requesting comments and opinions on new designs for their uniforms. The company then provided that information to the designer, and finally the uniforms were selected by a committee consisting of Japan Airlines employees.
The public’s feedback was for uniforms that were stylish and modern, while also offering female employees the option of wearing trousers.
Here’s how the airline describes the design concept:
Based on a refined and stylish design for professionals providing a safe flight experience and the highest levels of service. The key components of the current uniforms were utilized, which added to the improved functionality of the newly branded wear.
So, what do the new uniforms look like? Let’s look at the various designs, from cabin crew, to pilots, to ground staff.
Here’s how the new cabin crew uniforms are described:
Creative Director, Yasutoshi Ezumi, created the design based on two concepts called Refined Hybrid Beauty and Hybrid Modern Beauty.
By using a hybrid technique combining different materials, the uniform includes the corporate logo ”Tsurumaru” and corporate color ”red” to produce an originally designed and highly functional uniform.
The silhouette of the 3D shaped one piece uniform is representing the curve of a crane and also adopted a balloon shaped sleeve, which is rare in the airline industry. Based on the comments received from customers, the company designed a suitable style that does not affect the daily work involved for the crew.
Scarfs and aprons feature different styles between each JAL Group airline and an option to wear trousers will now be available.
Here how the new pilot uniforms are described:
The unisex design is similar to the current model, but a few changes were included to improve movement.
For the first time, a specially designed uniform for female pilots has been introduced. The jacket features a single-button type and a scarf can be used to replace the necktie. The scarf is a motif of an origami crane and was also designed by Yasutoshi Ezumi.
Here’s how the new ground staff uniforms are described:
The uniform expresses a sense of elegance, like a crane, and the patterns were designed with movement in mind. Similar to the cabin crew, the corporate logo and corporate color were used.
The scarf is a longer type featuring flowers drawn by the designer (Yasutoshi Ezumi) and more than 20 colors were used to produce the elegant scarf. And, the new one piece dress style is modern and functional.
For the lounge staff, a subtle pink-beige colored jacket represents the formalness of the lounge. And for the reception staff, a cream-beige colored jacket represents a high quality visual appeal.
Personally I’m not someone who cares all that much about uniforms. What I care about most is that they’re safe and comfortable to wear, and that they give employees a sense of pride. That’s much more important than how I feel about them.
That being said, I do find the new uniforms to largely be… kind of boring? That’s not surprising, really. While fashion is a big thing in Japan, that doesn’t really extend to the workplace for the most part, which remains pretty conservative.
Therefore the safe options they went with aren’t surprising at all.
Personally I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what JAL’s current uniforms look like, in spite of having flown them many times, which I guess means that I view them as being pretty unmemorable. This update doesn’t really change that.
I do like the colorful jackets that the lounge staff wear, and I also like that female employees have the option of wearing trousers.
Other than that, I can’t say that I love them, and they certainly don’t match my definition of modern and stylish…
What do you make of JAL’s new employee uniforms?