Aer Lingus uniforms: the ever-changing face of airline fashion

Aer Lingus has a long history of using Irish designers to create clothes for cabin and ground crews

Aer Lingus uniforms, from the the first military-style attire in 1945 designed by Sybil Connolly to 1998’s  look by Louise Kennedy. Photographs: Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus uniforms, from the the first military-style attire in 1945 designed by Sybil Connolly to 1998’s look by Louise Kennedy. Photographs: Aer Lingus

 

Airline uniforms occupy a special place in Irish fashion history. What cabin and ground crew have reflected over the decades is not only a professional image of Ireland and its national airline, but also the prevailing fashions of the times, grooming diktats and the particular changing demands of the work.

Aer Lingus has a long history of using Irish designers ever since the very first military style brown uniforms by Sybil Connolly were introduced in 1945 when air travel was only in its infancy.

The first green uniforms were introduced in 1947 and green in its various shades has remained the most recognisable colour of the Aer Lingus uniforms ever since.

The following is a selection of the uniforms designed over the decades by a roll call of Irish designers, charged with the challenge each decade of refreshing the professional attire of the airline staff – Connolly, Neilí Mulcahy, Irene Gilbert, Digby Morton, Ib Jorgensen, Paul Costelloe and Louise Kennedy, who has created the the new look.

1945: Sybil Connolly

The first Aer Lingus uniform designed by Sybil Connolly, 1945
The first Aer Lingus uniform designed by Sybil Connolly

1948: Sybil Connolly

1948: The first green uniforms for Aer Lingus, which were designed by Sybil Connolly
The first green uniforms for Aer Lingus which were designed by Sybil Connolly in 1948

1963: Neilí Mulcahy

1963 Neili Mulcahy uniform for Aer Lingus

1966: Irene Gilbert

1966: Irene Gilbert uniform for Aer Lingus

1970: Digby Morton

1970: Digby Morton-designed uniform for Aer Lingus

1975: Ib Jorgensen

1975: Ib Jorgensen took on design duties for Aer Lingus

1990: Paul Costelloe

1989: Paul Costelloe for Aer Lingus

2020: Louise Kennedy

Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
 
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