By John Ensor •
Published: 08 Nov 2023 • 19:18
Iberia Express training shoe.
IT seems the immaculately turned-out cabin crew of Iberia Express have chosen comfort over elegance, as a new dress code has been introduced.
A recent announcement by two airlines has signalled a shift towards a more functional approach to crew uniforms. On the cusp of change, Iberia Express made an announcement on Friday, October 27, heralding a partnership with El Ganso, writes Telecinco.
In a message posted on Instagram, they commented: ‘Last Friday we introduced the new sneakers for our crews, designed by @elgansoinsta. You’ll be able to see them on board from January 2024 and, besides being comfortable, they’re really cool!’
The evolution of airline fashion has long been a combination of branding and modernity. Iberia’s 1968 collaboration with Pertegaz marked a significant turn, embedding the iconic burgundy red into the airport psyche.
However, as time has progressed, the priority has pivoted from haute couture to high functionality. Designers like Alfredo Caral and Teresa Helbig have ushered in an era of unisex styles, balancing aesthetics with practicality. In 2008, Air Europa joined the trend, commissioning Jose Miro to refresh its staff’s look.
2023 marks a pivotal year as traditional heels and formal shoes make way for trainers. This revolutionary step is championed by airlines prioritising crew comfort and allowing equal work conditions for men and women.
Aerolineas Argentinas have followed Iberia Express’s lead, opting for a creation by Ricky Sarkany. Their social media stance was clear: ‘The modern world asks for a modern uniform. On the plane and at the airport, a comfortable, current, elegant uniform, full of image and very Argentine.’
The decision by the Spanish airline has sparked lively discussion among customers: ‘Today’s flight attendants, she has totally lost her glamour!’ said one. Another undecided customer commented: ‘The truth is that aviation stopped being elegant and sophisticated to being comfortable and casual…. I don’t know what to say…. I like elegance and sophistication.’
However, the general consensus of opinion was overwhelmingly positive: ‘Congratulations, great step without a doubt,’ remarked one. Another posted: ‘It’s about time @iberiaexpress. May the crew be able to work comfortably as we all do in our daily lives.’
One man shared: ‘Leave it to people who work and suffer/enjoy daily footwear for hours to decide what suits them best for their health. Stop thinking that high heels are synonymous with elegance, it’s absurd. Thank you Iberia Express for evolving and taking care of your crew, hopefully the rest will learn,’ he concluded.
Finally one person echoed the requests of many others: ‘So cool, we want some!!!’
Notably, Aerolineas Argentinas’s shift wasn’t solely a boardroom decision. A company-wide survey revealed that 70 per cent of the staff backed the uniform change for comfort.
Pablo Ceriani, the airline’s president, encapsulated the sentiment during the launch: ‘This uniform reflects what we want to be and what we are: on the one hand, a modern airline that adapts to social changes and new ways of flying, without losing the classic elegance that characterises Aerolineas Argentinas.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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