Virgin Voyages has previewed some of the designer threads its crew will don when the company begins operation next year. Virgin Voyages enlisted British fashion designer Gareth Pugh to develop the uniform, which Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson says are “nothing like what you would expect a crew uniform to look like, and all the better for it!”
“People are at the heart of all of our Virgin companies and when our people feel their best, they help make guest experiences the best they can be,” said Branson. “We want Virgin Voyages’ crew to be the happiest at sea and making sure that they feel comfortable, confident and stylish is a big part of that experience.”
The attire was unveiled at London Fashion Week at the London Opera House, which featured a rock-star performance from Christina Aguilera.
On his blog, Branson said, “One thing that means a lot to me is practicality and it’s important that while the uniforms look eye-catching and stylish, they also have to be fit for purpose for a variety of different job functions, body types and climates.”
A two-year project in the making, Pugh joins Virgin Voyages’ Creative Collective – a line up of designers, artists, and producers, including the likes of Tom Dixon, Roman and Williams and Mark Ronson, who are collaborating with the company to transform how life at sea can look and feel.
The uniform collection pairs Pugh’s high-fashion modernist approach with Virgin Voyages’ design ethos of the Modern Romance of Sailing, which embodies a love of the sea and the glory and sophistication of the heyday of the ocean liner with a contemporary yacht-like style.
“For this project, we were really allowed to push the boundaries, and to redefine the idea of what constitutes a uniform. We ultimately wanted to make everything about it modern, luxurious and desirable — to allow the entire crew to look and feel like a million dollars, in keeping with the rest of the experience,” said Pugh.
The collection allows for most crew to have a range of looks to choose from both day and night, and also breaks with cruise traditions by having no epaulettes stripes for officers, no ties and no waistcoats.
Putting a twist on the iconic red high-heel worn by Virgin Atlantic, many of Pugh’s designs will be paired with the Mulberry, red sneakers made by San Francisco-based PLAE. The footwear features eco-friendly lining sourced from coffee grounds through sustainable technology and are manufactured in PLAE’s fair-labour factory using water-based glue and renewable materials wherever possible.
Virgin Voyages partnered with sister brands in the Virgin family in diverse roles around the globe to test the uniforms to ensure that the final designs would support a variety of job functions, climates and body types.
“The new uniforms are another example of how Virgin Voyages are tearing up the cruise industry playbook. We’re determined to bring the romance back to sea travel and reinvent the whole experience,” Branson added.
Image credit: Virgin Voyages