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Airline swaps traditional uniform for tailored suits and sneakers

SkyUp is ditching tight skirts and heels for a modern, comfortable uniform. The design incorporates subtle details that signal tradition.

Have you ever boarded a long-haul flight in a full tracksuit, only to be attended to by a perfectly manicured flight crew in tight skirts and high heels?

The uniform feels somewhat outdated in an era where people are experimenting with oversized styles for cosy, lived in aesthetics – and casual wear dominates the market to the point where Athleisure acceptably doubles as office attire.

Well, Ukraine’s largest airline SkyUp is striving to change the game in staff flight wear.

An ode to the modern woman, who prioritises functionality and comfort as much as personal style, the airline’s new uniform aims to set a fresh trend in the airline sector – a core element of its company philosophy.

This autumn, it will launch a dynamic, flexible, and stylish ‘SkyUp Champions’ uniform that adapts to current trends in fashion and lifestyle. Enter, orange pantsuits and white Nikes.

Credit: SkyUp

A look at the history of flight attendant uniforms created the foundation for the new concept, carried out in collaboration with Frame Fashion Consultancy.

Their research delved as far back as the 1930s, revealing that uniforms had been regularly adapted to the role that flight crews carried out.

In the last decade, a lot has changed – including women – and it seemed essential to the airline that their workwear reflects that transformation.

After interviews with SkyUp staff, a new vision of flight attendants was brought to life. What emerged was a modern woman with an adventurous, active lifestyle – a champion of her role.

In collaboration with GUDU – a chic Ukraine-based brand whose mission is promoting the power and personality of women through fashion – the uniform is made up of soft tailored suits and Italian eco-leather trench coats.

Credit: SkyUp

The vibrant orange fabric is accented with a silk, sky blue scarf that attaches to the epaulettes of the jacket or coat.

The pattern was designed by the GUNIA project, a brand that combines ethnographic research with an artistic approach to create bespoke pieces. It integrates a modern flair with details that nod to traditional Ukrainian culture.

High heels are swapped out for Nike Air Max 720s, which have been specially selected as they are sustainably made with a composition of more than 75 percent recycled materials.

The sneaker’s air cushioned sole will ensure comfort for flight attendants who spend the duration of flights standing or walking up and down airplane isles.

Plus, they offer more stability if the plane runs into unexpected turbulence.

Credit: SkyUp

Head of SkyUp Airlines Marketing Department, Marianna Grigorash said, ‘times have changed, women have changed, so in contrast to the conservative classics, heels, red lipstick and a bun, a new, more modern and comfortable image of a “champion” has appeared.’

Marianna went on to say that the uniform embodies ‘freedom, natural beauty, individuality, no patterns and sneakers in which everyone would like to fly.’

As society transforms, fashion follows.  Workplace rules around appropriate attire have changed in many offices, and this should be reflected in occupations that require uniforms too.

The move by SkyUp Airlines is a thought out and stylish deviation from the norm that has the potential to pave the way for other companies to follow.

I’m sure flight crews around the world can agree, it’s about time.