Lonely Planet Writer

See what happens when celebrity designer Zac Posen makes workwear for airline staff

Designer Zac Posen is known as a master of the fashion runway and red carpet, and he has dressed celebrities like Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez. Now he has turned his formidable talents to dressing the stars of a different kind of runway – Delta’s.

Unitiform Vignettes during the Delta Runway Reveal in Atlanta, Georgia. Image: Chris Rank, Rank Studios

The US-based airline is changing its employee workwear for the first time in ten years, and Posen was chosen to work on the uniforms for its 60,000 employees. After three years in the making, the predominantly purple, red and grey uniforms will be officially worn for the first time in May.

Zac Posen designed the uniform for Delta’s frontline employees . Image: Delta

A total of 165 changes were made before the designs were finalised, and Posen worked with over 1000 Delta staff, who tested the items to identify any issues. The designer and his team received feedback from employee focus groups and job shadows for every job function, both of which he says were instrumental in the design process. “It enabled us to identify the needs, the desires, the neuroses – all the elements that come together when you’re designing for such a large team and organisation,” he says.

The new uniforms for Delta’s female frontline employees . Image: Delta

Posen designed the uniforms for the above-wing airport customer service, Delta Sky Club and in-flight service employees. His contemporary line fuses together bold colour palettes and classic styles, while paying homage to the heritage and iconic design from past decades.

Zac Posen designed the uniform for Delta’s frontline employees .Image: Delta

He also provided design inspiration and colour consultation on the uniforms for below-wing staff, including technicians and those working in airport customer service, cargo, ground support, equipment and maintenance. These uniforms were developed by clothing retailer Land’s End.

Zac Posen consulted on the uniforms for Delta’s non-customer facing employees, which were made by Land’s End. Image: Delta

“I saw this project as a real company collaboration,” Posen told Delta’s general manager of the uniform programme, Ekrem Dimbiloglu. “My team and I had specific ideas of what we could bring to Delta, but a lot of the inspiration came from the employees. It’s a very proud moment. I’ve never had the experience – quite at this scale – of designing for a company’s DNA. I think it allowed us to take different kinds of creative risks, play with colour and really think about form and function in the air – and on the ground.”

Designer Zac Posen at the Delta Runway Reveal Show in Atlanta, Georgia. Image: Rank Studios

Follow Delta uniform updates on Twitter @DeltaNewsHub and with the hashtag #DeltaRunwayReveal.