Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Remember the kerfuffle caused when Air New Zealand unveiled their new Zambesi-designed uniforms back in 2006? The staff liked the new look but weren't quite sure how to wear it all, the colours were too light or too dark, the men's suits too shiny... Talkback radio stations throughout the country had a field day taking calls from adulatory and disgruntled passengers alike. According to CEO Rob Fyfe at the time, it was "All part of a process that's been going on for a couple of years to reposition the company from all the markets that we operate in, which we certainly hope will just add to our competitive position." It was also the first major brand overhaul the company had undertaken in more than a decade. So why then (just two years on) has Air New Zealand been taking submissions from local designers to redesign their uniform once again? According to my sources Trelise Cooper has won the contract (for a rumoured price of $100,000 in Air New Zealand contra) and will begin working on the uniforms in the upcoming months.
Calls to Trelise Cooper and Air New Zealand for comment have thus far been unsuccessful but I will update as soon as I hear back from any of them.
UPDATE: Comment from Zambesi below.
Zambesi's Elisabeth Findlay just called me, saying that they had not pitched for the uniform's re-design:
"I don't know too much about it all. Air New Zealand contacted us about six months ago to ask if we would participate in the running but we declined - not for any nasty reasons, but we just didn't have the time to put into it. We have far too many distractions as it is!"
Her opinion as to why the uniforms are being re-designed:
"They've got a whole new marketing thing going on. It's all about remarketing and relaunching. When we designed the uniforms we were going for longevity - something that would last. Times change - they want a completely new look. They contacted us and said 'Look we're going to market a new look, it's about relaunching a new feeling.'"
And her feeling on Trelise Cooper winning the contract:
"I'm sure she'll do a great job."
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