Makeup for all, ties for any: Brussels Airlines redefines uniform guidelines with gender-neutral approach

Brussels Airlines has presented its new uniforms and styling guidelines for cabin, cockpit, and ground operations crew, taking a significant step towards gender neutrality in the workplace. The airline’s updated grooming policies now allow all employees, irrespective of gender, to wear makeup or ties, marking a notable shift towards inclusivity and personal expression in the aviation industry.

Moving away from gender-based mandates

The revised guidelines propose a unified approach to hair, makeup, and jewelry for all staff members. In this new framework, makeup and nail polish, conforming to specific styles and color palettes, are optional for everyone, moving away from gender-based mandates. This move aligns Brussels Airlines with progressive societal trends that advocate for the dismantling of traditional gender norms and the promotion of individual choice.

Designed by Gabrielle Szwarcenberg from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and other renowned Belgian brands, the uniforms not only reflect the airline’s commitment to sustainability and ‘Belgitude’ but also its dedication to fostering a work environment that respects and celebrates diversity. The use of innovative, environmentally friendly materials like leather from cacti and grapes is a testament to the airline’s commitment to eco-conscious practices.

Unveiled in a fashion show for staff and press, the new uniforms combine contemporary style with classic elegance, inspired by the glamorous airline attire of the sixties. The dark navy blue uniforms with champagne-colored details are designed to be comfortable and flattering for diverse body types and ages. The collection includes unisex pieces and offers the choice of sneakers alongside vegan-leather shoes, catering to the varied preferences of over 2,600 employees.

Belgian innovation and design

The development of these uniforms was a collaborative effort spanning two years, involving frontline employees in surveys, workshops, and design sessions to ensure the final product met their needs and preferences. The collaboration with The Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp and Gabrielle Szwarcenberg, along with the selection of Belgian brands like Atelier Content and Ambiorix for shoes, further underscores Brussels Airlines’ commitment to showcasing Belgian innovation and design.

Sustainable materials

Emphasizing sustainability, each supplier involved in the uniform project aimed to reduce environmental impact. The use of BCI-certified cotton, mulesing-free wool for animal welfare, and sustainable packaging materials all contribute to Brussels Airlines’ strategy for a more sustainable future.

With the introduction of these gender-neutral uniform policies, Brussels Airlines is adapting to societal changes, ensuring that all employees feel comfortable and represented in their work attire. This initiative by Brussels Airlines represents a significant movement in the airline industry, where inclusivity, personal expression, and environmental responsibility are increasingly valued and integrated into corporate practices.

Photos: Brussels Airlines