Dragonair passengers will see their flight attendants don something different from today as the airline rolls out a new uniform for its 3,000 frontline staff.
Women will now wear a one-piece dress, while men will see an olive-coloured jacket and vest replace the previous 13-year-old uniform. The signature red and blue scarf will vanish.
Designer Eddie Lau Pui-kai said the airline's dragon logo had been incorporated into the cut of the dress, the men's jacquard jacket and the collar design of the women's jacket. Lau, who also designed the uniform for sister airline Cathay Pacific, said he hoped passengers would associate the two airlines with each other when they saw the new uniform.
It is Dragonair's fourth uniform since the airline was established in 1985.
Dragonair chairman John Slosar said the new uniform suited the airline's image of being "young, expanding and energetic".
He denied the change was part of an effort to relaunch the airline brand, but said the company wanted to make passengers feel more like Cathay and Dragonair were one family.
Chief executive Patrick Yeung Wai-tim said the red in the female uniform represented youth and vitality, while the black helped to project an elegant and professional image.
The uniform development process took 18 months. Lau, who has worked with Cathay Pacific for more than 15 years, said it had been difficult to design a uniform that would suit 3,000 people. It was especially important to find the right fabric, as it had to be waterproof, let employees "breathe" and be suitable for different weather conditions.
"Scarves are not very trendy and not unique to Dragonair," he said, explaining the removal of the trademark item.
But fashion designer and stylist Jerry Nova said he found the design boring. While the colours suited the tastes of Chinese people, he said it was not international enough. He liked the champagne cupid bow collar for the chief purser uniform, as it looked like a necklace from afar.
Disagreeing with Lau, he said the uniforms would have been more trendy if they had featured a scarf, and noted that such an accessory could be tied in different ways and in various positions.
Fellow stylist Nelson Cheung Hok-yum called the new uniform design conservative, as the black dress made the overall tone too dark, and made the flight attendants look too mature. He said he preferred the former uniform.