JetBlue has recently revealed a new range of accessories to join the airline’s current capsule uniform wardrobe. In a bid to continue their humanitarian efforts, the new accessories help charities chosen by the cabin crew. Featuring a range of multi-coloured ribbons, reflecting the carriers chosen charities, the crew are able to donate a part of their uniform allowance to good causes.
We speak exclusively to Jessica Wolff, JetBlue’s brand manager to see how the new uniform accessories are working out.
The new JetBlue uniform has been out for 2 years, how well has it been received?
We launched new uniforms for the first time ever in June of 2014. The product that we launched was the culmination of months of testing and feedback from all over the organisation.
All work groups, as well as sourcing the JetBlue University team, designer and manufacturer – created this cross-functional team that built the uniform program. Uniform programs are very emotional. People wear their uniforms every single day. We made sure during the original wear testing, that we were gathering qualitative and quantitative feedback. We set a benchmark and we exceeded it based on feedback across crewmembers all throughout organization. It was very well received. There were still things we couldn’t have anticipated going into it that we’ve worked hard to systematically identify and address. However, it is an ongoing process.
Being a capsule wardrobe, what are the most popular pieces for the crew?
The mock wrap dress for airport operations and inflight crew members is probably our most popular piece. It comes in both short sleeve and long sleeve.
This new initiative obviously has a wonderful humanitarian element to it, how did you select which charities would be a part of the project?
This charity line started with breast cancer awareness. A lot of the airlines do pink everything and we use to have a pink scarf and tie in our old program. We decided to encompass a variety of charities in our current scarf and neck tie designs. Right now, the funds will go to the charities our crewmembers’ choose and they will choose one charity every quarter. We first introduced this line in October 2015 and now find ourselves coming upon our first vote now. We will keep you post on where the first donation is distributed.
How many pieces are there that the cabin crew can pick from. Are they all accessories?
The primary pieces are the scarf and tie and those can be worn by flight operations – so our pilots, our airport operations and our inflight [operations] crewmembers. There is one scarf and one tie. There are cause bracelets; crewmembers are allowed to wear one at a time with their uniform. There are also charity pins; we have breast cancer pins and we are intending on growing more. We have hair ribbons that match with the colors of our cause bracelets. Typically when wearing your uniform, our hair accessories guideline is pretty straightforward: brown, black, or blue. This is the one opportunity to add a pop of color.
Have they also been designed by Stan Herman?
We do everything in collaboration with them.
Will the charity drive be promoted anywhere within JetBlue to allow passengers to be a part of this drive?
I think adding in customers is a great idea a little further down the line. The intent was really more for our crewmembers – their uniforms are very personal to them and being able to represent a charity that they are passionate about at certain times of the year is a very personal thing. We wanted to provide the platform to not only express their support of the charity, but also be able to contribute to it through the uniform purchase.
What about staff within the airline that aren’t front line facing, will office staff/pilots be able to be a part of this campaign too?
At JetBlue we have a tradition – a sort of sign of respect – we only allow people who are trained and certified in their respective work groups to wear the uniform of that work group. That is actually a really unique thing that has been passed down through the years. That even leads into our marketing. When you look at our commercials and all of our advertising or any photos that you see of any crew members or anyone wearing the uniform; they are actually JetBlue crew members certified in that area.
For example, I am in branding and have spent years of my life working on the uniform program, but I am not able to actually wear the uniform. If there is someone in one of our support centers in uniform, they are an actual trained pilot or inflight – they can absolutely be a part of this.
The JetBlue uniform is one of the latest developments in the carrier, along with new cabin interiors you launched last month… what other exciting elements can we see coming from JetBlue in the near future? Possibly branded gate areas? New destinations? New IFE/magazine offerings?
In-flight entertainment a big area of focus and growth for us. A lot of our recent announcements have been made with the cabin interior discussions. The Airport environment and experience are also a big focus for us as well as far as branding and design. We have had a lot of growth over the past five years or so and there are a lot of airports that we are going back to, to redesign or refresh. Boston and Fort Lauderdale are already in the works to make the check-in experience more efficient and seamless for the customer.