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Style In The Aisles – Air Canada’s New Christopher Bates Designed Uniforms.

On Thursday February 9, 2017 Air Canada (AC) unveiled its new charcoal grey and black staff uniforms with red accents. The new outfits combine an international flair with a contemporary and timeless style complementing the new Air Canada livery, created by international design firm Winkreative.

Vancouver-born fashion designer Christopher Bates partnered with AC on the design of the new employee uniforms. Known for his contemporary tailoring, Bates applied his signature approach to modernizing classic pieces through fit, colour, fabric and clever details.

“I take classic style and modernize it by focusing on the fabric, colour, and texture but also more specific features like kissing buttons on jacket sleeves, unique stitching and seaming,” said Bates. “As brand ambassadors who travel around the world it is important that Air Canada employees feel stylish, confident and comfortable in their uniforms as they take care of millions of customers every year”.

The airlines last uniform update was in 2004, after the carrier emerged from 18 months of bankruptcy protection. Back then, Canadian pop star Celine Dion helped usher in blue as the dominant colour in marketing campaigns, she performed a three-song set in front of Air Canada employees wearing the ‘midnight blue’ uniform.

Using fine, long-lasting materials – from 100% silk and 100% wool suiting to soft leather – the refreshed look for employees balances compelling visual aesthetics with functionality, comfort and durability. Every element was designed with safety and style in mind, and colours have been chosen to complement the new livery.

Renee Smith-Valade, Air Canada’s vice-president of in-flight service, said Thursday’s announcement goes well beyond uniforms and paint, underlining the carrier’s global ambitions. “We have to be at the top of our game to compete in the markets that we are now flying into,” she said.

The new uniforms for the airlines 20,000 plus staff will be phased in during 2017.


Pilot uniforms embrace the classic style of traditional aviation. The look is anchored by a formal double-breasted blazer that features peak lapels, a modern 2×2 button stance, and tasteful antique gold trim.

Flight attendants and airport agents:

Made with 100% long-lasting wool materials and fine silk, flight attendant and airport agent suits are sophisticated charcoal grey with tasteful accents in Canadian red including the famous Air Canada Rondelle. A crisp white shirt will be accessorised with vibrant ties and scarves.

The colour-palette, fabrics and details are consistent piece to piece, uniform to uniform. This is particularly important for flight attendants who will appreciate the ability to layer and mix and match pieces comfortably and confidently.

The outer-wear is climate appropriate for a Canadian winter from coast to coast. The coat is water-resistant and features a removable quilted liner and removable hood. The outer-wear has been designed to be worn both on and off-duty so employees can travel light.


Air Canada’s world-renowned concierges’ uniforms will consist of exclusive styled suits made of black wool with a twill weave with Canadian red accents, white shirts and black coats.

Ground workers including station attendants, cargo agents, baggage handlers:

Made with durable, comfortable fabrics the work-wear uniforms ensure that, even in the toughest of environments employees are comfortable yet stylish. Innovative elements such as the polo (golf shirt) the webbed belt and the bonded jacket will ensure Air Canada work-wear employees are the best dressed in the industry. All the tops in the new collection prominently display the Air Canada Rondelle.

Exclusive product details found in the new work-wear uniform also demonstrate how safety is always top of mind at Air Canada. Unique safety features include embedded reflective elements and pull away hoods.

Christopher Bates

Christopher Bates is an award-winning Canadian menswear designer, whose brand personality and aesthetic is recognized as impeccably tailored clothing with hints of flair. Following a competition among several of Canada’s leading designers, the Vancouver-born designer was chosen to create Air Canada’s new uniforms styled in a contemporary Canadian and internationally tailored look, while being highly functional and comfortable.

Bates began his namesake line in Canada, specializing in innovative premiere menswear. After moving his production to Milan, Italy in 2014, he has since expanded into men’s footwear and accessories, with exclusive collections for Harry Rosen and Browns across Canada.

A passionate and versatile designer, he stays true to his inspirations, drawing from anatomy, architecture, geometry, and other art forms such as cooking in all of his work. Having been featured in some of the world’s top media publications including L’Uomo Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, Forbes, GQ Brazil and more, the Christopher Bates brand has seen in a meteoric rise in the fashion industry.

air-canada-new-uniforms-coverWhat are your thoughts on the new uniform?


Images and partial text courtesy of Air Canada.

© by Dan Air.

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