Let Zac Posen introduce you to Passport Plum.

By Stacey Leasca
May 30, 2018

Starting this week, no matter what you do you won’t be the best-dressed person on a Delta flight. That honor now rests firmly with the airline’s crew.

On Tuesday, Delta rolled out a massive new upgrade to its uniforms for the first time since 2006 for “above-wing” employees like pilots and flight attendants — and the first since 2000 for “below-wing employees” like maintenance and baggage handlers. And, because it called on high-end designer Zac Posen to design the uniforms, the new look is nothing short of (airport) runway ready.

Credit: Courtesy of Delta Airlines

“This project and collaboration was something that evolved over three years and I really think it was handled in an incredible way for a corporation,” Posen told Travel + Leisure at a launch event in Los Angeles.

And this redesign was no small task. Posen explained that he shadowed dozens of Delta employees over the last few years to learn every inch of the cabin and every detail of their duties — from in-flight services to baggage handling — so he could create a look and fabric that worked for their every need.

Credit: Courtesy of Delta Airlines

For Posen, the most surprising feedback from the crew and Delta executives was just how much they all wanted to stand out at airports around the globe.

“They wanted to create a unique look that didn't look like other airlines,” Posen said. And that started with a brand new color for the uniforms: Passport Plum.

The new color, Posen explained, is actually a mixture of Delta’s old dark blue and red hues. That hue was then used on anti-stain, anti-microbial, four-way stretch fabrics made from silk, wool, poly-blends, and more to ensure every crew member could adequately do their job.

Credit: Courtesy of Delta Airlines

Next, Posen and his team created 1,000 sample uniforms for crew members around the globe to test out. They provided the designer with feedback so he could create the final iteration of the uniforms you can see today on every single Delta flight around the world.

Credit: Stacey Leasca

But not everything is new in these uniforms — Posen ensured a few timeless accessories made the cut.

“I love the men's tie and the women's scarf. I think those are pieces that will withstand a long, long period of time,” Posen said. “I believe deeply in the power of glamour and the power of an experience. And the excitement of flying and definitely the nostalgia of the golden age. But it's really about taking that essence and creating a new future.”