July 25, 2024

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Riyadh Air Unveils Fashionable Employee Uniforms

3 min read

Riyadh Air is the new Saudi airline startup that’s launching flights in 2025. The people behind Riyadh Air have been making big promises about what we can expect from the airline, from the tech, to the onboard experience, to the employee uniforms.

For a long time, Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas has been promoting how the airline “won’t have cabin crew uniforms,” but rather Riyadh Air will “have cabin crew fashion, and wait till you see the fashion that we have.” Well, we’ve now seen the fashion that Riyadh Air has planned for its employees, and it’s definitely quite out there…

Riyadh Air unveils bold new uniforms

Last night, Riyadh Air finally revealed its new employee uniforms, in an event that took place during Paris Couture Week. The carrier’s new uniforms are being created in partnership with Saudi fashion brand ASHI Studio, founded by Mohammed Ashi. Ashi became the first couturier from the Gulf region to join the Federation de la Haute Couture in Paris as a guest member in 2023.

Riyadh Air describes this as a “modern partnership, fusing high fashion and aviation elegance,” with “classic panache with bold, modern styling for a future-forward airline.” The airline also consistently calls this a “fashion line” rather than uniforms.

Here’s how the airline describes some of the design elements of the new uniforms:

  • The styles strike a sharp look and are optimized for comfort both on the ground and in the sky
  • The entire collection is defined by curved lines, sculptured silhouettes, and solid base colors
  • A signature wing detail on the jacket takes cues from the aircraft’s livery design

Below you can see the reveal of the new uniforms, plus some background on how they were greated.

I like Riyadh Air’s new uniforms, I think!

I’m generally impressed by Riyadh Air’s new uniforms. They’re super progressive, and it’s fun to see that for an airline based in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the details in many of the pieces is impressive. Now, I do have a few thoughts, though…

First of all, these uniforms were really hyped, and I can’t help but wonder if they lived up to the hype. I mean, the uniforms are cool and all, but are they any more “out there” than Aegean Airlines’ new uniforms? I suppose what’s remarkable here is that Riyadh Air is an airline from Saudi Arabia, so perhaps it’s especially bold when you take that into account.

Next, whenever I talk about airline uniforms, I mention that the most important thing to me is that employees feel proud and comfortable when wearing them. Yes, these uniforms look great on models, but I can’t help but notice that they all don’t have more than a few percent body fat, if that.

Does this really represent the average employee that Riyadh Air will have? I trust the airline will hire a lot of attractive female foreigners. But I’m curious, will Riyadh Air have to hire a certain percentage of Saudi nationals to work at the airline, as is the case with other Saudi companies? If it’s like Saudia, then we’ll see a mix of Saudi men and foreign women.

If so, will Saudi men be wearing these uniforms? Because I can’t help but be curious if these uniforms would look as flattering on the people working at the airline as they do on models here.

The uniforms match the livery!

Bottom line

After quite a wait, Riyadh Air has finally revealed its new employee uniforms, designed in partnership with Saudi fashion brand ASHI Studio. The uniforms are definitely some of the more fashionable ones we’ve seen from an airline, so it’s cool to see that from a company that’s based in Saudi Arabia.

However, I can’t help but wonder how these uniforms will look on real employees who are operating long haul flights, rather than models briefly walking down a runway at a fashion show.

What do you make of Riyadh Air’s new uniforms?

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