American to put employees in new uniforms

AP News
Posted: Jan 25, 2013 4:37 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — First, American Airlines wanted a fresh look for its planes, and now it aims to dress up its employees in new uniforms.

American, which is going through bankruptcy and considering a merger with US Airways, said Friday that it hired fashion designers Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco to create uniforms for pilots, flight attendants and customer-service agents.

Kaufman and Franco creations are more likely to be found on the red carpet than on an airport jetway.

Model Camila Alves wore a revealing black gown designed by the duo to the Oscars in 2011. The year before, pop singer Taylor Swift wore one of their midnight blue, sequin-covered, off-the-shoulder gowns to the Grammy Awards. Christina Aguilera was their first celebrity fan.

American said it will take 18 to 24 months to design and produce the new uniforms. American didn't say how much it will cost.

Franco said he and his partner would strive for a "new iconic look." He said the new outfits "will make each person look and feel amazing."

The airline's senior vice president of people, Denise Lynn, said the clothes would be functional and fashionable, and employees would have a role in developing them. She called the makeover "one more step toward building the new American."

The uniforms will replace navy blue outfits that date back 20 years.

Last week American unveiled a new logo and paint scheme for its aircraft, and it likewise declined to say how much it will spend on that "rebranding," which will extend to new signs in airports and sports arenas.

American is ditching the familiar red, white and blue horizontal stripes on its planes, adding bold red and blue bars to the tail, and using a more stylized eagle design for a logo.

That makeover, coinciding with the delivery of new Boeing airplanes, has gotten mixed reviews. Fans like the lighter look, critics wonder why American changed an iconic design.

American and parent AMR Corp, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011. AMR is considering whether to merge with US Airways Group Inc. or remain on its own.