Fashion At 30,000 Feet: Virgin America Gets A Banana Republic Makeover

In honor of its fifth anniversary, hip flyer Virgin America is giving its entire human fleet—from pilots and airport crew to in-flight “teammates”—a makeover with sleek new uniforms designed by Banana Republic.

The new “utility chic” get-ups, which debut August 8, are built around Virgin America’s existing black, gray and red palette. For men they’ll feature slim-fit shirts, flat-front trousers, striped-sleeve cardigans and lambskin leather jackets, with studly black leather gloves and gold-rimmed aviator shades for accessories.

Not since Pucci and Halston designed outfits for Braniff airlines in the 1960s and ’70s have American sky workers looked so stylish.

“The new uniforms mark the joint efforts of Virgin America and Banana Republic to elevate the style quotient of everyday work-wear,” says a spokesperson for the airline.

And you too can sport the look (well, a similar one): On August 7, Banana Republic stores nationwide will debut a travel-inspired fall collection, also available for a limited time via Virgin America’s in-flight catalog.

This won’t be the first time the airline and the clothier have teamed: In February, they presented the world’s first live-tweeted in-flight fashion show.

Below, check out more of Banana Republic’s designs for Virgin America






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  • Jim H.

    Pretty nice, though what about the employees who will look ridiculous in slim-fit shirts? Seems unworkable, like mandating skinny jeans across an entire company.

  • scott ny'er

    i think it’s a little boring. Banana doesn’t seem to be that stylish IMO. Also, I agree with Jim, what about the non-fit/skinny employees?

  • Ann Mason

    I would be more impressed if Virgin America gave this contract to a company which has its garment factory in the United States and recognizes a union. That may not be possible for a low-fare airline, but still, it’s disappointing that aesthetics are being placed ahead of the nation’s economy and workers in the U.S.

  • Drew

    All I know is the pilot uniforms are a joke. Being in the aviation industry, no one can tell Virgin America pilots from flight attendants or just someone off the street. Very unprofessional image.

  • randy

    At least they didn’t have call for Project Runway contestants to design an outfit.

  • um...

    @Ann Mason:

    This will come out snarky, but I’m sincerely curious if everything you own was made in America?

  • Ann Mason

    @um…: Of course it isn’t. These days it’s impossible for any consumer to meet that standard because U.S. manufacturers have made outsourcing their policy.

    American Apparel has a garment factory in Los Angeles, and the company recognizes the union. Recently, when I bought a tee shirt with the name and logo of an independently owned coffee house on the front of it, I was pleased to learn the shirt was made by American Apparel. It’s possible small business owners are more sensitive to that than some other companies, although recently there was a report that Starbucks was going to start buying its ceramic coffee mugs from a U.S. factory.

    We’d better think more carefully about these things if we want our economy to recover.

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