Behind the Scenes: Design Work Begins on the New AA Uniform

I’m really interested in the new uniforms American Airlines is developing for the “New American.” The designers want the new looks to remain timeless, yet also be functional and modern. To be honest, I’m going to miss the current uniforms when they disappear, as I really love the old-school look of the old AA. In any event, here’s a behind the scenes look at the new AA uniform, still under development and yet to be released.

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What do you hope for in the new American Airlines uniform?

Interestingly, I found this document released to employees of the airline regarding the new uniforms and how they’ll be rolled out across the airline. This gives some hints as to what the new uniforms will and will not feature, and provides insight into the new American’s operations.

Q & A – Planning New Uniforms For The New American Airlines Reminder: Complete the Uniform Survey By April 18, 2013

About the Designers

Who is designing the new uniforms?
Prior to the merger announcement, American selected renowned fashion design duo KAUFMANFRANCO to design new uniforms for some work groups. US Airways is excited to work with KAUFMANFRANCO on planning the new uniforms as well. The planning will begin with new uniform designs for our flight attendants, pilots, customer service agents and US Airways Club employees. For our employees who wear work wear uniforms, such as fleet service employees, information on new uniforms will come later.

KAUFMANFRANCO are a design duo known for sophisticated and understated designs. Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco have more than 20 years of design experience working with major labels, such as Valentino and Vera Wang. They’ve dressed many fashionable celebrities, including Beyoncé, Julianne Moore, Heidi Klum, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez. They are loyal American flyers, and they are eager to begin the collaborative and planning process with American and US Airways teams.

Why was KAUFMANFRANCO selected as designers?
KAUFMANFRANCO designers are loyal American fliers who really care about giving employees a sense of pride and professionalism as they represent the new American. And they’re known for sophisticated and understated designs that will appeal to the various needs and tastes of our workgroups. They will take feedback from employee surveys, think creatively and help us design and create a modern look for the new American.

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For the Workgroups

Is everyone receiving a new uniform?
Most of our workgroups will be receiving new uniforms after the merger is complete. It’s been more than 20 years since American work groups have refreshed their uniforms and outfitting this large group will take time and we are just in the planning and employee survey phase at this point.

We will start by providing flight attendants, customer service agents and US Airways Club representatives with new uniforms. This includes the US Airways Express employees as well. The planning and design process for pilot uniforms will come next followed by our employees who wear work wear uniforms, such as our fleet service employees. Pilots should take the survey now however.

When will I receive my new uniform?
Uniforms for flight attendants, pilots, customer service agents and Club representatives will take at least 18-24 months to complete and we will keep you informed of delivery dates in the future.

How will I receive my new uniform?
We are still finalizing the uniform rollout process. We will share more details on that once the uniforms are ready.

Why will some workgroups receive their uniforms before others?We’re just getting started on the design process with KAUFMANFRANCO, which means we have to finalize everything from the design of the uniforms themselves, to the fabric choices, accessories and manufacturing of the pieces. Employee involvement is an important part of this process including the uniform survey now available on Wings. We have plans to keep work groups engaged along the way, so stay tuned for more information!

The Uniforms

Will I have an opportunity to provide input on the new uniform?
Yes. By completing the survey by April 18, 2013 you will provide valuable input on the design of the new uniform. Union representatives will be part of the process as well and we have plans to engage employees in the process along the way. We are just getting started so please stay tuned for more information.

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How will these uniforms compare to other airlines’ uniforms?
Many airlines have refreshed their brand and uniforms in recent years, and we are excited to design something that is uniquely the new American. The end result will be a uniform that reflects each work group and that we know employees will be proud to wear – modern, fashionable and of course, functional.

Will there be multiple pieces from which I can mix and match?
Yes. We want everyone to have an opportunity to look and feel good, and that means choosing pieces that are right for you. While we’re in the early stages of the planning and design process with KAUFMANFRANCO, we are planning to have a variety of options available from which people can choose.

Will uniforms be available in every size (e.g., plus sizes, maternity)?
Yes. We will have sizing options available for all of our new uniforms. We are planning fit tours in the future that will provide an opportunity for work groups to try on the garments so they’ll be able to order the correct size.

KAUFMANFRANCO recognizes that our uniforms need to look and feel great for many different people. That’s one of the main reasons why we chose to plan and partner with them.

Where will the uniforms be made?
We have not yet finalized the manufacturing details for the new uniforms yet. We will work closely with our designers to ensure high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing.

How will you ensure quality?
The new uniforms will give employees pride and confidence to look their best everyday – and that starts with producing a high-quality product. We are still working with the design teams to finalize the manufacturing process, and we will ensure a high-quality and cost- effective product is produced.

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Why aren’t pilots or fleet service employees and other ground employees getting new uniforms as part of this rollout?
Outfitting a large workforce such as American’s is a lengthy process and takes time. And we want to do it right. Flight attendant, customer service agent and Club representative uniforms require a lengthier lead time for production because of the total number of employees and the design elements required for those work groups.

We’re just getting started with our design process with KAUFMANFRANCO, so there is much work to be done with all the workgroups. In order to best manage the design process for all the workgroups, we will begin with new uniform designs for our flight attendants, customer service agents and Club representatives. Pilot uniforms and uniforms for our employees who wear work wear uniforms, such as our fleet service employees, will be planned and designed in the next phase of the new uniform process but pilots should take the survey now. More details will be shared as we move further along in this process.

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  1. Jennifer salmon says

    Well, not bad on the uniforms… I do believe we need color. The white scarf is a terrible idea. I like both sweater nice material..the shirt looks and fits better then I thought. I believe the jacket could be a little short so that it falls nicer in the back. Over all good choices but we so need color…thanks

  2. Linda Countryman says

    The grey color of the uniform should be DARK charcoal. The lighter grey is boring and is the old Piedmont Airlines uniform color. Very drab. Dark charcoal grey is much more stylish and richer. I hate a 3/4 length sleeve. Jacket should be long sleeved. Blouse should be long and short sleeved. A zipper on the back of a blouse if ridiculous. Too difficult to close by yourself. Also, the blouse is too sheer. You can see your bra through it. We should also have a blouse with a collar.
    Jacket could have a black accent such as black, maroon, or red stripe on the lower part of the sleeve. We need some color. A scarf with some color would be good. We need a winter scarf as well. The whole uniform should be machine washable.
    Thank you


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