Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Frank Smith for Evan-Picone 1971 Evan-Picone, Angelica Career Apparel Blouse and neckpiece by d'Armigene Hat by Borsalino SFO Museum Gift of Thomas G. Dragges Hat, hat insignia: Gift of Teresa Damgaard Jacket insignia: Gift of Hildur Kirchdoerfer L2016.0301.055-.060 2001.016.071 a b, .117, .118, 2001.184.003 a b, 2005.150.013
Frank Smith, Evan-Picone
Dubbed “The Uniform for the Superjet Era,” and created for the new wide-body jet service, this uniform marked a new direction in Pan Am’s approach to fashion. It was created by Frank Smith (1927–2007), chief designer at career wear manufacturer Evan-Picone, to be “a functional and fashionable wardrobe that could be worn in all seasons, and of such quality that it would enhance the Pan Am image.” For the first time, the Pan Am stewardess could choose from two colors, Superjet Blue or Galaxy Gold. Fashioned after an English riding habit, it has a modified chesterfield jacket and a flared camisole skirt in polyester with the airline’s first above-the-knee hemline, and a cotton blouse with neckpiece. Topping off the dramatic new look is the bowler derby and reversible cape.
Trans World Airlines flight attendant uniform by Valentino 1971 SFO Museum Gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc. Jacket insignia: Museum purchase L2016.0301.111-.114, .126 2002.113.112-.114, .118, 2016.027.001
Rome-based fashion designer Valentino Garavani (b. 1932) brought his passion for color to TWA in 1971 with a uniform collection that included men’s wear and pants for women. With a business-like look, this plum polyester knit dress suit has signature buttons and scarf. It marks a transition in airline fashion as age limits were removed and the profession became a longer-term career.
United Airlines flight attendant uniform by Stan Herman 1976 Fashionaire, A Division of Hart, Schaffner & Marx Hat by Geo W. Bollman SFO Museum Gift of Diane Willems Vaughan Hat: Gift of United Airlines Historical Foundation L2016.0301.169-.175 2005.018.005, .030-.031, .034, .037, .038, 2012.100.105
New York-based fashion designer Stan Herman (b. 1932) counts several airlines among a long list of large companies for which he has created uniforms. From 1976 to 1981, thousands of United’s cabin crewmembers wore a combination of Herman’s western style all-season uniform called Classic U.S.A. This three-piece, vested-suit version in rust Dacron polyester, was worn over the cream long sleeve body blouse highlighted in orange and red piping with a logo pattern. The optional hat with a narrow brim proved popular with flight attendants.
United Airlines flight attendants in uniforms by Stan Herman 1976 photograph Collection of United Airlines Archive R2016.0307.013
Qantas Airways flight attendant uniform by Yves Saint Laurent 1986 SFO Museum Gift of Suzanne de Monchaux L2016.0301.106-.110 2002.074.024, .043-.045, .048
Yves Saint Laurent
In 1986, renowned French couturier Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008) introduced this Qantas uniform, which was worn until 1991. The cropped, tuxedo-style jacket has the wide lapels, padded shoulders, and narrow waist of Saint Laurent’s 1980s power-suit designs for his Rive Gauche label. Terracotta collar and cuff trim project a regimental formality, while the colorful Qantas flying kangaroo pattern of the cotton-poly skirt and blouse add a festive air.
Aeroméxico flight attendant uniform by Macario Jiménez 2008 D’nieto SFO Museum Anonymous gift Jacket insignia: Courtesy of Aeroméxico Scarf: Courtesy of Veronica Dawson L2016.0301.248-.250, L2016.0313.009-.010 2012.064.001-.003
Mexican fashion designer Macario Jiménez studied at Milan’s Marangoni Institute and created his own clothing brand in 1994 specializing in women’s ready-to-wear. His Aeroméxico uniform, worn from 2008 to 2011, is a black polyester knit suit worn with a skirt or pants. The trim, tailored look of the jacket and skirt is highlighted with red piping, a two-tone tie belt, and dramatic kick pleat. The outfit is finished with the multicolor scarf.
Virgin Atlantic Airwaysflight attendant uniform by Vivienne Westwood 2014 Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways L2016.0302.001-.008
The major influence in British punk fashion, Dame Vivienne Westwood (b. 1941) created London street fashion in the seventies and began showing in Paris in 1981. She brought her unique style to Virgin Atlantic in 2014 with this current uniform to match the airline’s maverick attitude. In signature red, the exquisitely tailored suit recalls 1940s couture and Westwood’s earlier nipped-waist Bettina jacket with a darted pencil skirt. A high collar and asymmetric frilled jacquard blouse underscore the Anglocentric qualities of this forward-looking design.
Virgin Atlantic Airways flight attendant in uniform by Vivienne Westwood c. 2014 photograph Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways R2016.0302.009