Hawaiian Airlines used Honolulu Fashion Week to show off their brand new uniforms this week. Catering to 5,000 uniformed staff the new threads will start to appear on the line in January 2017 during a on-the-job fit and wear testing programme, before rolling out in late 2017 to coincide with the entry into service of Hawaiian’s first A321neo long-haul aircraft.


The new designs are a collaboration among Affinity Apparel, renowned Hilo-based design firm Sig Zane Kaiao, and a committee of 40 front-line Hawaiian employees representing a variety of job functions. Employees from each work group revealed the uniforms last Friday at the airline’s ‘Runway to Runway’ fashion show during Honolulu Fashion Week at the Hawai‘i Convention Centre in O’ahu.


This isn’t the first time Sig Zane has brought his style to the Hawaiian Airlines brand, with his famous Hawaiian illustrative style adorning O’hana by Hawaiian’s fleet. However, Sig Zane’s latest design ‘Kū Mākou’ or ‘Together We Stand’, was inspired by “talk-story” sessions between designers and committee members. Principals Sig Zane and his son, Kuha’o Zane, explored the concept of working together to reach one’s common destination in the context of voyaging, community and family to create a narrative print holding deep resonance for employees.


The print features lehua blossom and ‘ohe kapala (bamboo stamps) and can found in prints, linings and woven elements through every piece of each work group’s uniform in different scales and tonalities.

“It was very important for us to create something that would represent Hawai‘i wherever we fly,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Our committee and designers spent countless hours contributing their ideasand values, and we’re excited to share that with our guests from around the world.”


In keeping with Hawaiian’s unique design practice, the uniform design marries cultural tradition with bold contemporary lines and cutting edge, high-performance materials.Affinity Apparel worked with the uniform committee closely to understand employees’ work needs and pick high-performance materials to complement each uniform piece.

“We were honored to work alongside talented designers and passionate employees to outfit Hawaiian’s front-line staff with fashionable and functional garments,” said Marcia Hischke, vice president of product development at Affinity Apparel.

While we were hoping to have seen more flattering silhouettes and intricate styling on the female outfits and a more fitted suit on the male cabin crew, however its easy to see the input of the cabin crew on the final product. Comfort, usability and freedom of movement seem to be at the top of the design requirements.


That said, the women’s cape is fantastic, and at the top of our favourites, it brings an element of glamour to the uniform, as well as reinforcing the Sig Zane print and retro Jet-set glamour than so many airlines try to replicate.

The Big Picture

Posted by:Jonny Clark

4 replies on “Hawaiian Airlines Launches New Sig Zane & Affinity Apparel Uniform

  1. Wow. Awful uniforms. I can’t believe it. Those print shirts are super tacky looking and remind me of the tacky styles mainland carriers used to wear on their floghts to Hawai’i in the 70’s and early 80’s. Very very dissapointing Hawaiian. I was really hoping for something better. MUCH better.

  2. The uniform pieces all look as though they were purchased from Sears. Or Hilo Hattie’s. Cheap-looking “high performance” materials and Hawaiian prints that, as Kevin observed, look as though they’ve been recycled from the 1970’s or 80’s. I remember when cabin crews of Western Airlines and United wore outfits like these when operating Mainland/Hawaii flights; onboard 707’s and DC8’s!

  3. Actually, its a very thoughtful uniform. Like the little details in the uniforms like the skirt slits, the Hawaiian native patterns on the ramp/ops uniform shirts and the pops of colour on the men’s uniform. I usually have a big hate on for lame Hawaiian aloha shirt prints (some of my old uniforms looked like I worked for Zippy’s) but this design has some weight to it because of the input from staff (the people who will actually wear it). I used to like the old Mamo Howell uniforms from years back because of its abstract designs and because the girls looked great in the traditional muumuus that they also had in their wardrobe. Well done!

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