Wickstead, who has gained international recognition for her designs worn by global influencers and A-list celebrities, will now bring her talents to design New Zealand’s most iconic and recognizable uniform.
More than 40 New Zealand Designers Considered
Air New Zealand’s designer selection process involved several top designers from New Zealand. The airline evaluated them based on important criteria such as sustainability, functionality, safety, and te ao Māori. Emilia Wickstead emerged as the chosen designer after this competitive pitch process.
Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customer and Sales Officer of Air New Zealand, expressed their excitement for this collaboration, stating that Wickstead’s concepts impressed the selection panel.
“We received expressions of interest from more than 40 New Zealand designers and heard pitches from the country’s leading design talent, showcasing the depth and breadth of New Zealand fashion, making it an incredibly tough decision. Ultimately, Emilia stood out as the perfect partner.
“Emilia presented outstanding initial designs that were creative, unique, will set Air New Zealand apart on the global stage. She also demonstrated her understanding of the importance in creating a uniform that is both functional and comfortable for our people.
“Her ability to create modern yet timeless pieces perfectly fits with what we were looking for in a design partner – someone who could create a uniform that our people can wear with pride now and into the future.
“Emilia has built an incredibly successful brand, designing for some of the most high-profile customers in the world, and we think our people deserve to be dressed by the very best too. We’re thrilled to have Emilia onboard and couldn’t be prouder to welcome her to the Air New Zealand whānau.”
A Deep Respect for New Zealand’s Cultural Heritage
Emilia Wickstead feels privileged to be the next Air New Zealand uniform designer.
“I could not be prouder or more excited to have been selected as Air New Zealand’s next uniform designer. This is a true passion project for me; one that further connects me with my homeland, Aotearoa, and the community and places that I love.
“My approach to the uniform centers around a deep respect for New Zealand’s cultural heritage. First and foremost, it is inspired by people. I’m a big believer that clothing can be transformative, uplifting, and empowering, and my hope is that the new uniforms will instill a sense of pride and purpose in Air New Zealand’s incredible, world-class team.
“Emilia Wickstead designs have a timeless quality, with simple yet effective details that lend fresh modernity and ease. It’s important to me that these uniforms are an extension of this, tempered with creative twists and innovation to create a distinctive uniform that will stand out for years to come.”
A Gradual Roll-Out of New Air New Zealand Uniforms
In the project’s next phase, Air New Zealand will work closely with Emilia Wickstead to refine the designs. This phase will also include onboard trials and consultations with uniform wearers. The airline will unveil its final designs in late 2024.
Over the next few years, the Emilia Wickstead Air New Zealand uniforms will be gradually introduced. This progressive rollout will ensure a smooth transition for all those involved. Over 5,000 cabin crew members, front-of-house ground staff, and pilots will get new uniforms.