Delta Air Lines rolled out its new employee uniforms on flights and at airports around the world Tuesday with an early morning fashion show at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The uniforms are spreading a new color across Delta’s massive hub in Atlanta and on the airline’s thousands of flights around the world. Delta calls this dark purple shade ‘Passport Plum,’ a departure from the traditional blue and red of major U.S. carriers.
Atlanta-based Delta has spent the last three years working with designer Zac Posen to design the uniforms, test them on employees, make adjustments and hold fittings for the 64,000 workers who will now wear the uniforms on the job.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the airline’s investment in the uniform rollout “is probably in the $20 million range.”
Posen, Bastian and Spanx founder Sara Blakely spoke about the uniform rollout during the fashion show at the Atlanta’s airport international terminal early Tuesday morning. Atlanta-based Spanx partnered with Delta for hosiery worn with uniforms.
Posen said passport plum was originally “a highlight color” in Delta’s uniform collection. “Then it got expanded out... to multiple pieces.”
“Zac is bringing fashion and glamour back to the airlines,” Bastian said. “It’s a sophisticated look, it’s elegant, it’s much more international in orientation. Our aspirations are to be a top global carrier, not just a top U.S. carrier.”
Posen is taking flights to Delta’s hubs in Minneapolis and Los Angeles on Tuesday that will include an in-flight uniform fashion show.
The airline will also hold a fashion show at the gate in Minneapolis and a uniform launch party in Los Angeles with hundreds of employees.
The last time Delta changed uniforms for flight attendants and customer service employees was in 2006. Baggage handlers and mechanics are also getting new uniforms.
Bastian said Delta conducted a study and found that even frequent travelers could not pick out Delta’s uniformed employees from United’s and American’s.
“It’s a sea of navy out there with a lot of domestic carriers,” said Delta employee Chad Holmes.
With the new uniforms and the plum color, Bastian said: “We want to stand out. We want to make a statement.”
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