Turkish Airlines Unveils New Italian Inspired Uniforms

It’s a big week for Turkish Airlines!

Yesterday I wrote about how they will introduce a new business class seat on their Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft to be delivered from next year.

The new Istanbul airport is also set to open at the end of next month, which will feature an all new version of Turkish Airlines’ world renowned business class lounge.

New uniforms

As part of these continual improvements, Turkish Airlines has unveiled new uniforms. Here are their current cabin crew uniforms, which are bland and boring and could pass for a three star chain hotel uniform just about anywhere in the world.

The new uniforms are designed by Ettore Bilotta, an Italian designer who designed Alitalia’s short lived new uniforms. What’s interesting is that one of the reasons Alitalia discontinued them so quickly was because employees found them to be extremely uncomfortable, so hopefully the designer learned from those mistakes.

He said of the new Turkish design that they are:

Inspired by many classic elements of Turkish design and culture, the new uniforms incorporate traditional patterns found in artisanal glassware, ceramics and calligraphy with contemporary textures and details.

Here they are…

My thoughts

I’m not sold on the grey female trousers, skirts and dresses because that ribbing is really odd. This would have looked better in a plainer charcoal print rather than having that ribbing.

Other than that I love, love, LOVE the new uniforms. The overcoats are beautiful and stylish, the handbags look like something from an upmarket Milan boutique, the red colour is fantastic (as the ribbing is not nearly as noticeable on it) and I adore the hats.

Bottom line

I love writing about new airline uniforms because you guys get so fired up in the comments and there’s so many passionate, differing views.

But that’s what makes fashion interesting — it’s very subjective. I see plenty of ‘catwalk looks’ where I think ‘as if anyone would ever wear that.’

Of course uniforms will make little difference to passenger experience, although staff can feel proud of their airline when they are dressed in a sharp new look.

I doubt the Italian designer spent that much time trying to design a unique uniform given the similarities of these uniforms with the beautiful Alitalia uniforms, other than to change the base colours.

For the record, I still think the best airline uniforms belong to Etihad.

What do you think of the new Turkish Airlines uniforms?

(Tip of the hat to The Design Air)

Comments

  1. Designers mostly seem to focus on women’s wear, then shove the men into a tired-looking suit that would be equally at home on a bank teller. Unimaginative.

    Equally, airline uniform designers often seem more interested in aesthetics than practicality. As nurses have discovered, trousers are much more sensible than skirts for jobs that involve a degree of stretching and bending.

    This ain’t gonna make it more likely that I’ll fly Turkish.

  2. Italian “inspired” isn’t really correct since they are actually inspired by traditional Turkish motifs. Italian “designed” would be more accurate…

    It’s a shame they didn’t decide to showcase a Turkish fashion designer though – Turkey is really quite developed now and has a lot of its own talent that deserves attention…

  3. Having said this though, this is a massive improvement though – I loved his previous designs for Alitalia which felt really premium too.

    (Also my favourite uniform is Hainan’s – whether it is practical or not is another question :P)

  4. They look great but likely won’t be super practical in-flight. I think uniforms that allow for a sharp, tailored appearance on trousers for all crew is the best way to go. Pencil skirts look great, for sure, but hinder nearly all movement required beyond walking and sitting. And I second @The nice Paul’s comments regarding the men’s uniforms. Generally unimaginative though I dig the color palette.

    While the uniform may not affect the soft/hard product directly, I think a crew who feels they look professional and polished will reflect that in their treatment of passengers, thereby having an impact on customer experience overall. Kudos to TK.

  5. Disagree on the men suit being tired, old and imaginative. As far as suits go, this new Turkish uniform is already quite flamboyant, with the shawl collar and satin edge, plus red buttonholes. I would probably choose a 2 button design rather than 3, but otherwise there’s not much you can do with a suit before it becomes an unprofessional joke.

  6. I think this is a huge step in the right direction for TK, it takes just enough inspiration from Turkish culture which is balanced with a classic high-end charm (those hangbags!)

    However, I disagree with your comment about the ribbing pattern. If you removed the pattern and just had plain color-blocking I think it would begin to look very very generic and boring, the ribbing adds movement and excitement to the pieces.

  7. When you have a culture as rich as Turkeys, why on Earth would you steal from another? This is the problem with the Muslim world: We don’t want to take pride in who we are. Instead of learning from how the West subdued our power, we decide to either eternally resent it, or get on our knees and copy every single thing about it.

  8. “Of course uniforms will make little difference to passenger experience”

    NOT AT ALL !! ….. uniforms are an intrinsic part of the passenger experience and that is why we appreciate your addressing this matter as a welcome distraction from the credit card and hotel awards issues. Cabin crew are required to change items of uniform (or enhance with caps, aprons, waistcoats, cravats, badge insignia etc) in order to please or impress passengers throughout their flight.

    These new Turkish lines are beautiful but I’m also concerned with the ribbing although comfort of course will all depend on the quality and denier of the fabric used.

    There are some pretty appalling clothes that staff are expected to wear and Chinese airline management (particularly China Eastern) seem to be the most ruthlessly cruel although Hainan Airlines did unveil some incredibly stylish cabin crew uniforms in a gala Paris ceremony last year but these have sadly (perhaps because the HNA financial situation) not been rolled out too quickly.

    Etihad began by ripping off the iconic 1970’s Gulf Air look but, as with most of the James Hogan’s directives, things got a little lost and confused on the way. I would certainly not agree with your opinion that “the best airline uniforms belong to Etihad”.

    Finnair have some of the most beautiful and well-designed overcoats (complete with chic leather gloves to guard against those bitter Helsinki-Vantaa winters) but once the staff are obliged to present themselves in those unsubstantial blue and white blouses for serving meals in Marrimeko then things really become embarrassing.

    Qatar cannot claim to have the best outfits on the concourse but nobody can deny that wherever in the world those conservative ladies and gentlemen land, they remain the smartest, professional and most elegantly turned out team walking with confidence and dignity towards the exit door.

  9. I like Singapore Airlines uniforms. They are just so iconic. I feel the same way about KLM uniforms. You can immediately recognize the crew.

  10. @ Matt

    I’ve just flown 4 legs in KLM. While I have always liked their bold colour-scheme and the corporate design, close-up the uniforms looked uncomfortable: from the male FA whose tailored short-sleeve shirt was so tight the armholes were biting into the flesh of his (admittedly enormous) biceps, to the female FA whose sharply fitted trousers made it look as if she had a permanent wedgie (and also looked to be made of sweaty, scratchy, cheap polyester).

    The fact that the KLM uniform fabric is sufficiently durable to be recycled into the carpets of their new planes tells you that it is probably a bit too tough to be worn next to human skin.

  11. it’s identical to the old Alitalia uniform with same colours but different fabric and hat. The dress with belt is identical…. The bag is similar to a Furla designed one too. Bilotti didn’t work hard for this uniform… i hope he selected a better fabrics. But probably Turkish hostesses will be less mournful than Alitalia ones…

  12. I don’t know why I waste my precious time here…. this site really gets more irrelevant and non-sensible each time I check in.

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