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Limited Edition Melbourne Scarf Unveiled as Qantas’ Smart Lifestyle Brand Evolves

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No doubt, Qantas has style.

Its ongoing relationship with designers prove that. Marc Newson has put his mark on the airline’s sleek aircraft interiors and modern, comfortable lounges; Martin Grant has designed Qanta’s crew uniforms, and Kate Spade has left her mark on the airline’s in-flight amenity kits.

All of this establishes Qantas as fashionable, and now the airline is refining its brand vogue further, as a lifestyle brand, through a collaboration with international supermodel Jessica Hart as the airline’s exclusive Trend Consultant.

When the new association was announced this May, Qantas said the Australian-born supermodel would “draw on her knowledge of global fashion and lifestyle trends to work on projects benefiting Qantas Frequent Flyers.”

That fashion-sense has now been applied to warm and light accessories as Qantas and Trend Consultant Jessica Hart reveal a very covetable Melbourne wrap.

Melbourne’s laneways and food scene inspire the patterns on the limited edition cashmere blend scarf, crafted by leading Australian scarf brand, Bird & Knoll. (click gallery to enlarge)

During the development phase of this versatile travel accessory, Jessica Hart was asked to nominate a destination that “feels like home.” Hart chose Melbourne, and added a personal touch.

The scarf’s design incorporates her favourite colours and the print references the streetscape art of Hosier Lane and its cornerstone restaurant, MoVida.

Qantas Group Executive Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, says the airline was pleased to support Australia’s fashion industry with its choice of manufacturers, while promoting the unique beauty of Australia.

“We take great pride in supporting Australian fashion designers, destinations and talent and we’re really excited about our collaboration with Bird & Knoll to bring extra style to the Qantas travel experience,” says Wirth.

The two designers, Natalie Knoll and Macayla Chapman, describe the scarf as “the perfect accessory for any journey”.

“We are excited to be working with Qantas to launch this beautiful limited edition scarf today. It translates effortlessly from poolside sarong to an elegant inflight cover-up so it’s ideal for popping in your hand luggage,” say the designers. We are also looking forward to showcasing the scarf and our emerging brand on a global platform and reaching a whole new audience through this partnership.”

The Melbourne-themed scarf retails for $298 and is being sold on qantasshop.com.au, Qanta’s InSky Shopping catalogue, and at stores which carry Bird & Knoll products, including David Jones, and Husk, as well as Bird & Knoll’s own shops.

Fashioning Profits

In a tough industry, often led by the drive to stay in business, hopefully to be profitable, the attention of large traditional carriers, has been drawn to fare-based competition. To a degree, this is an understandable knee-jerk reaction to LCC aggressors, an act of self-preservation. But competing down, in the long term, results in a diluted industry, with low standards of comfort and quality. In effect, it brings aviation closer to generic public transport. With no public backing, that’s a losing proposition too.

As the industry consolidates, and fares reach their minimum point of sustainability, it’s past time for airlines to think beyond fares as a differentiator.

Leading brand experts have identified lifestyle brand differentiation as a missed opportunity for airlines. It’s good to see Qantas take this advice to heart, and deliver on it so beautifully. Let’s hope they start a trend.

Related: As APEX reports, Air Canada has also taken a bit of inspiration from the “other” runway: incorporating the fashionista lifestyle in its in-flight entertainment content strategy.

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