Zac Posen’s Memorial Day plans are all about travel, as he officially launches new uniforms for Delta.
The designer will be at LaGuardia Airport Monday afternoon with Delta staffers showing off their new attire, around the same time that a Singapore departure will be taking flight wearing his designs. In total, Posen and his team are suiting up 64,000 staffers. Lands’ End partnered on the project to handle the production, which included a wide range of sizing including petites and tall.
After the Memorial Day debut, Posen will board a plane to fly to Delta’s home city of Atlanta for the start of a whirlwind 48-hour cross-country tour that will feature fashion shows in-flight and in airports. He will also make stops in Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
Having done a considerable amount of “job shadowing,” Posen said the physicality of Delta employees’ work called for micro bacterial and stretch fabrics. Since January, he has taken 40 flights learning about employees’ lives and careers. “A lot of the cabin crews are lifers who have had incredible experiences traveling the world.” he said. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go from baggage check-in to ticketing at the counter to learning how to use the cabin on the plane to serving.”
A slimming dress with short sleeves for flight attendants, a red pantsuit, 15 new accessories including a monogrammed handbag and five pink uniform options for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October were among the multitude of styles Posen created. The project is “different than putting a runway collection together. You’re reaching and really affecting a really large group that is almost the size of a city on a daily basis. It took great collaboration within my team. We built a whole dedicated team within my corporation. Delta did as well and Lands’ End,” Posen added. “As challenging as it is, there is a romance in terms of travel. Sometimes we take it for granted that we are able to go anywhere in the world.”
After collaborating with numerous Delta employees and creating “thousands and thousands of designs, Posen and the team decided on multiple colors — red, charcoal gray, navy and Passport Purple among them. Referring to the latter, Posen said Delta wanted to add a new coloration and “really take a bold stance in terms of putting their image forward into the international arena.” The shade’s similarity to Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year Ultra Violet was “corporate kismet,” he said. “I guess that’s what designers are for.”
With the help of the Savannah College of Art & Design, fit clinics were set up in all of Delta’s worldwide hubs so that employees could consult with stylists to ensure they felt comfortable, empowered,” Posen said. “I’m a designer who has always celebrated all bodies and body types.” Spanx provided seven shade options for hosiery.
Posen’s in-flight rituals are: drink lots of water, take a cashmere blanket, homeopathic Calms Forte (if sleep is needed), face mask, warm socks, sweatpants and a T-shirt for overnight flights, a good book and earphones — “and then I’m usually ready to go.”