Emilia Wickstead Designing Air NZ’s New Uniforms
Airline uniforms are not just instantly recognisable – they’re a statement, Connor Sturges writes for Condé Nast Traveller. New Zealand’s national carrier is following in the fashionable footsteps of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, with celebrated New Zealand designer Emilia Wickstead leading the way.
Ahead of the new uniforms being finalised late next year, Condé Nast questioned the designer on her inspiration for the uniforms, celebrating Māori heritage, and what her in-flight routine looks like.
“I’ve paid tribute to my roots in different ways throughout my career, for example, with my collaboration with Woolmark, which I photographed on a cast of extraordinary New Zealanders in 2018,” Wickstead says. “The Air New Zealand uniform is such an important aspect of New Zealand’s culture, and designing it is something I have always wanted to do. From a dream that began in New Zealand to where I am today, it feels like a true full-circle moment.
“The uniform will be worn by over 5000 of Air New Zealand’s team across multiple roles within the business, which definitely poses unique challenges. It’s also the first time that I will be formally designing menswear.”
Original article by Connor Sturges, Condé Nast Traveller, November 7, 2023.