- Alaska Airlines unveiled new uniforms designed by Luly Yang in a fashion show last Thursday.
- The new 90-piece collection will debut onboard Alaska flights in late 2019.
- The new uniform marks the latest development in the merger between Alaska Air and Virgin America.
Alaska Airlines and Virgin America took another step towards unification with the unveiling of new designer uniforms for the company’s 19,000 employees. Alaska debuted the new uniforms in a fashion show last Thursday inside its hangar at Sea-Tac Airport with several thousand employees in attendance.
“What you see on the runway is actually a combination of the two cultures, Alaska and Virgin, coming together” the uniforms’ designer Luly Yang told Business Insider. “We combine them to make something new and fresh and better than it was before.”
Yang, whose work traditionally consists of couture gowns and wedding dresses, spent two years putting together the 90-piece collection.
“The overall styling of the whole line is what I call ‘West Coast Modern’ that has modern flair but is still very approachable,” the Seattle-based fashion designer said. ” And West Coast is all about approachable fashion that’s layered and flexible so you can wear the layers in multiple ways.”
Work began on the new uniforms a couple of months before Alaska announced the $US2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America in April 2016, Yang told us.
As a result, she put work on hold to visit the San Francisco-based outpost of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire to get a better understanding of its culture and style.
The merging of two very different brands will be a major undertaking on the part of the new airline.
“There’s a warmth and caring that comes from the Alaska side, this idea of remarkable service is something that Alaska is really known for and then there’s this element of fresh and modern and hip and cool from Virgin America,” Alaska Airlines vice president of marketing Sangita Woerner told Business Insider.
As a result, Alaska customers will see marketing with a more youthful and energetic tone that’s less traditional while the Virgin faithful will see an airline with a strong foundation of service and performance, Woerner said.
The Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger closed in December 2016, forming the fifth largest airline in the US, behind only American, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines. With the acquisition of Virgin America, Alaska has solidified its position as the most powerful airline based in the Western United States.
In October 2017, the airline confirmed to Business Insider that Virgin’s reservations, passenger records, and seat inventories are expected to be merged with Alaska’s on April 25, 2018.
Alaska’s Luly Yang-designed uniforms will enter service in late 2019.