The Streets of Hong Kong have just got a little bit snappier today. Hong Kong-based HK Express launched its new uniform for cabin crew designed by LIFT Strategic Design, which also created the airline’s brand and cabin interior. In a shift from the normal buzz of employing a fashion designer to create the uniforms for an airline, the carrier opted to look closer to home, and employ the same designer who created the new livery and brand image. Daniel Baron, CEO of Tokyo-based LIFT said: “I am grateful to HK Express for the opportunity to take a 360-degree approach to branding, which enables a high level of consistency in presentation”.
Hong Kong is already filled with iconic staff uniforms, with Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair all calling Hong Kong home, this uniform design had to be instantly recognisable. “Both the client and I want the staff to look stunning and feel proud to fly for HK Express. To this end, the cabin crew were presented with three fully manufactured concepts. Their selection was then further developed to become the final uniform.” said Daniel Baron on the new threads.
The uniform has been designed to communicate the HK Express brand values: low fares but just as polished and professional as a traditional network airline. Baron said: “It was important that the uniform reflect both the brand positioning and Hong Kong culture. The airline’s crew and management did not want the stereotypically laid back image of other LCCs. We dedicated a lot of time to achieving just the right look, with textured fabrics that appear and feel high quality, are easy to work in, and perform well”.
The dress for female cabin crew features a two-tone grey fabric with a touch of shimmer to reflect the airline’s dynamic can-do spirit. The brand’s graphic element, a swoosh shape found on the livery, has been incorporated into the neck and waist areas in purple, with an additional purple accent at the bottom of the dress. The women’s jacket is a vibrant purple, with lapel referencing the shape of HK Express’s brand element and pocket accents in silver.
Male cabin crew will sport a casual suit of two-tone grey trousers and a charcoal grey jacket, with the same customized lapel shape, purple pocket accents, and purple lining. A short sleeve shirt in white has unique purple accents in the collar and button holes, and will be worn without a necktie. “Every piece in the HK Express uniform has been designed to communicate the airline’s DNA: youthful and approachable, exuding professionalism and with commitment to the highest standards in safety and service”, said Baron. “I am confident that we achieved a uniform that will have the crew walking tall.”
Our view? We actually quite like the new look, and in a move away from the usual bright coloured uniforms of low cost carriers, HK Express have managed to create a smart, young and contemporary uniform that seems to reflect the brand positioning of the carrier – perhaps helped by the fact the whole brand vision has been created by one singular company.