Collabs are the new black, if the recent Balmain x HM campaign is anything to go by. With the easyJet x CuteCircuit partnership launching today, one cannot deny that a great collaboration can wield the kind of power that makes people sit up and listen. It is this power that knows no bounds because it is born of a perfect partnership that has been designed for success.
Following in the path of collaborations like Polar x Swarovski, Chromat x Intel and BaubleBar x Jawbone, budget UK airline easyJet has teamed up with fashion technology label CuteCircuit. The American version of Jetblue is not new to technology. They were one of the first airlines to launch online booking in 1998 and more recently they introduced aircraft inspections by automated drones. Now, on their 20th birthday, they will be the first airline to incorporate wearable technology as part of their cabin crew and engineers’ uniforms.
With the soft launch date pencilled in for early 2016, Tina Milton, Head of Cabin Crew for easyJet, commented: “Our crew’s primary concern is for the safety of all passengers so it is really exciting to be working on this pioneering new technology which could transform the capability of our uniforms, helping crew to be more easily identified in an emergency as well as helping them to provide great service to passengers.”
The specifics of the futuristic uniforms are that the cabin crew’s attire is fitted with LEDs on the shoulders and illuminated hems to provide additional lighting. The design includes LEDs on the jacket’s lapels where important information like fight numbers and destinations will be displayed. Also, the uniforms will give the crew access to in-built microphones.
As for the engineers’ uniforms, they have LEDs on the jacket’s hoods that illuminate work areas. Another feature is the in-built camera. The wearer can use the camera to take a picture and send it over to another engineer for advice or assistance. Fitted with an air quality sensor and barometer, the engineers’ jacket’s objective is to help staff monitor their work environment, whilst creating a map of air quality in different cities for passengers’ information.
Announced today, Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder of CuteCircuit Francesca Rosella shared: “We are excited to be working with easyJet in creating the future of aviation. The cabin crew uniforms and engineers’ uniforms represent cutting edge developments in wearable technology, and are a first in the aviation industry. The uniforms unite fashionable style with novel functionalities, increasing safety and communication with passengers to create a truly unique inflight experience. We designed with the crew needs in mind and are looking forward to starting trials in 2016.”
Having taken a look at the end project, I must admit that I am not impressed. Although it is a collab that makes a lot of sense, the bringing of fashion and technology to the sky, the design aspect shows us that this is an trial and error idea that is still in its infancy. The more I stare at it the fashion diva within me is screaming “No, no, no!”. True, airline uniforms are not designed to be at the helm of all things tech stylish but come on, they should try to go beyond function. It is this lack of style that gives this collab the PR stunt vibe. The easyJet x CuteCircuit Judy Jetson ensemble might be tech but it so definitely not fashion. I guess for CuteCircuit, one of the pioneers of Fashion Technology, they can add easyJet flight attendants to their roll call which includes celebrities like Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger. With that I can appreciate that the first version of anything is never something to write home about, so I look forward to seeing where Fashion Technology and Airlines take the next chapter.