Quantas ditches Aboriginal for European Chic

 QANTAS is set to ditch the Aboriginal motifs on its uniforms in favour of a radically revamped chic European design inspired by its famous flying kangaroo logo.

The airline, which has just launched its joint venture with Emirates and is looking towards its 2020 centenary, has turned to designer Martin Grant, the Nunawading High School drop out who has met success in Paris for the past 20 years.

Those who have seen the new uniforms, which are top secret at the moment but will be unveiled later his month, describe them as chic, fresh, clean, modern and bold.

The Aboriginal motif uniforms, designed by Peter Morrissey in 2003, will disappear in favour of what Grant says will be a “radically different” design inspired by nature.

The present Quantas designs

The present Quantas designs


“I started thinking more about Australia and fauna and all different things associated with Australia and I kept coming back to Qantas and the Qantas logo and the image that we all have of Qantas, which is the red triangle, the tail of the aircraft with the flying kangaroo,” Grant told The Australian’s WISH magazine.

“For me, if not the best airline logo, it is one of the strongest international logos. When you see it in the international ports it has a very strong impact. I think for a lot of people, there is a huge amount of pride attached to it, it hits a chord.”

The designer is known for his elegant Parisian aesthetic including a simplicity of lines and timeless silhouettes. Earlier in his career he so wowed Andre Leon Tally that the former US Vogue editor-at-large persuaded supermodel Naomi Campbell to model at Grant’s catwalk show for free. New York retailer Barneys then ordered his entire collection.

The low-profile Grant beat other designers, including Collette Dinnegan, to the Qantas assignment, which has been more than a year in the planning and involved secret testing of the uniforms, made using the new design but the old Aboriginal prints, during flights to test health and safety, warmth, comfort and fire-retardant criteria.

The uniforms will be progressively rolled out among Qantas’s 12,600 uniformed staff early next year.

Quantas uniforms 1948-1959

Quantas uniforms 1948-1959


Qantas uniforms affected a militaristic air well into the 1950s.

Things got groovy in the 1960s, with red miniskirts, before Pucci’s green, mustard and orange jackets during the 1970s and 1980s.


Yves Saint Laurent and then George Cross and Harry Who retreated into blue blazers for the next 20 years until the Morrissey era.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has promised Grant will produce designs that “look good on everybody”.

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Posted by on April 29, 2013. Filed under Australia,Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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