In 2015, Alaska Airlines nabbed Seattle couture designer Luly Yang to refresh 35 uniforms for the company's 19,000 outfitted workers. Everyone from pilots to flight attendants to ground service employees will get a new look. After years of focus groups, interviews, consultations, and testing, the new uniforms will finally be debuted at the Alaska Airlines hangar in Sea-Tac this afternoon, January 18.
Yang, best known for her gorgeous bridal gown, couture dresses (especially the Monarch butterfly gown that launched her career over a decade ago), says this is the biggest project she's done to date.
An estimated 500,000 yards of fabric, a million buttons, 100,000 zippers, and 30 million yards of thread may be needed for the job.
While less glam as Yang's usual styles, the local designer, a University of Washington alum, nevertheless applied her background as a graphic artist for a Seattle architecture firm to engineer uniforms that emphasize four main musts: comfort, distinction, functionality, and pride. Attendants, it turns out, want to look good walking down the catwalk concourse as much as they don't want their skirts riding up whenever they hoist a carryon into an overhead bin.
In all, Yang designed over 80 pieces for the project, from a signature Alaska Airlines stitch to zipper pulls.
After a few more months of testing in the wild, Alaska Airline employees will all sport their respective new uniforms come 2019. Until official photos are released, though, please enjoy some in-blog entertainment: a slideshow of Alaska Air's uniforms from the 1940s until present day.