NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines showcased — for the first time — the new uniforms they’ll soon be wearing, designed by Seattle’s own Luly Yang.
The uniforms were crafted for Alaska’s pilots, flight attendants, and those who work inside and outside airports.
More than two years of planning, testing, and preparation led to a fashion show on Jan. 18 inside Alaska’s Sea-Tac hangar for the big unveil of the new, West Coast-inspired uniforms.
Employees walked the runway, modeling over 90 garments and accessories.
Yang met face-to-face with employees across the system. Overwhelmingly, the top requests from employees were more pockets and designs that look great on all body shapes and sizes, as well as performance over a range of climates. The collection is designed to be layered so that employees can self-regulate comfort while working in the freezing temperatures of Barrow, Alaska, to the balmier weather of Mexico.
Her focus on fit and function enabled additional touches, including water resistant materials, activewear fabrics, longer shirt tails that don’t untuck from skirts and trousers, and flexible textiles that move with the body.
She called it one of the most complex and rewarding challenges of her career.
“With 45 sizes per style and 13 very distinct work groups, this was the ultimate puzzle to solve,” Yang said.
“We just want our employees to love what they wear… we’re well on our way there,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing.
Justin Fitzgerald, a flight attendant who worked for Virgin America and now Alaska Airlines, said, “The Virgin America uniform has been such a sleek and modern look that I thought it would be so hard to top.”
“Seeing Luly’s designs brought to life has been super exciting! Ms. Yang has taken a lot of our input and has created a very cool, classic yet modern, West Coast vibe!”
The uniforms made their official debut this week, with 130 employee weartesters — from flight attendants, pilots, customer service agents, and lounge employees — putting the uniforms through their paces for the next 60 days.
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