Fashion in Flight: The History of Flight Attendant Uniforms
“Nurse, companion, ticket puncher, baggage master, guide, waitress and little mothers of all the world.” That’s how the 1937 Woman’s Home Companion described flight attendants of the day, although the very first were “cabin boys,” the teenage sons of airline investors, who in turn, were replaced by “sky girls” brought on board to soothe the jangled nerves of passengers unaccustomed to traveling through the clouds. From nurse inspired, to military styled, to mini-skirted color block, cabin crew uniforms have represented not only image and branding but the evolving roles of women. Their changing looks have marked milestones like airline deregulation and patterns of social mobility. Fittingly, Fashion in Flight opens June 11, 2016 through the holidays at SFO’s International Terminal, parading over seventy airline uniform ensembles and accessories (yes, yellow go-go boots!) in their Main Hall and Aviation Library. Assistant Director of Aviation John Hill takes us on board.
June 08, 2016