Sneak peek: Virgin Voyages' new uniform
Virgin Voyages has unveiled pieces from its stylish new uniform collection, designed by British designer Gareth Pugh.
A two year long project in the making, Pugh joined Virgin Voyages’ Creative Collective – an illustrious line up of designers, artists and producers who are collaborating with the company to transform how life at sea can look and feel. Also in the Virgin Voyages Creative Collective are: Tom Dixon, Roman and Williams and Mark Ronson, among others.
The uniform collection pairs Pugh’s high-fashion modernist approach with Virgin Voyages’ design ethos of the Modern Romance of Sailing. This embodies a love of the sea and the glory and sophistication of the heyday of the ocean liner, with a contemporary yacht-like style. The collection features a distinct combination of structure and fluidity. It includes a wide range of looks from razor sharp tailoring to relaxed tunic shirts – referencing the early days of British punk and more.
“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.
Most crew members will have a range of looks to choose from both day and night. The uniform also breaks from cruise traditions by removing the epaulette stripes for officers and you won’t find a tie or a waistcoat in sight.
“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 Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “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. Gareth Pugh and the Virgin Voyages’ team have worked hand-in-hand to bring to life what will soon be the most eye-catching uniforms on the high seas.”
Shoes have always played an important part in Virgin’s uniforms – think of the red heels that Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew sport. Virgin Voyages’ crew will also wear some iconic shoes with many of Pugh’s designs paired with the Mulberry, red sneakers made by San Francisco-based PLAE. The gender neutral sneakers are intended to playfully contrast Pugh’s designs for a cheeky yet elevated look, true to the Virgin Voyages spirit. The Mulberry shoes were custom-designed for comfort and versatility – specifically to allow crew to be on their feet both day and night.
Reflecting Virgin Voyages’ commitment to sustainability, PLAE’s shoes feature eco-friendly lining sourced from coffee grounds through sustainable technology. They are manufactured in PLAE’s fair labour factory using water-based glue and renewable materials wherever possible.
Crew members have given input at each step of the design process and, ahead of the launch of Virgin Voyages’ first ship next spring, the uniforms have been tested by sister brands in the Virgin family to ensure that the final designs will support a variety of job functions, climates and body types.
The collection was showcased in a star-studded event hosted during London Fashion Week – read Richard Branson's blog for the highlights. Visit Virgin Voyages to find out more.