Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

The Uniforms of Braniff Airlines – Designed by legendary Emilio Pucci

Written by Guest Writer • May 24th, 2010
The Uniforms of Braniff Airlines – Designed by legendary Emilio Pucci

Remember when flying was fun? Living in the post-September 11th world not everyone does. Security measures have changed the way we fly. With tedious carry-on and travel restrictions as well as economic hardship, airlines have cut travel benefits like in-flight meals and free baggage check-in.

But at the height of the aviation world, flying was a special occasion that called for you to dress to impress. Full meals were served with real silverware in coach and the flight attendants were expected to fulfill certain physical (read: beauty) requirements.

If you worked with Braniff airlines as a flight attendant, you would be wearing uniforms designed by Emilio Pucci. The Italian designer, known for his colorful prints, made everything from convertible dresses to bubble-like helmets to protect flight attendant’s impeccable hairdos from rain on the tarmac. The airline’s tagline was “The End of the Plain Plane” and that philosophy trickled down from it’s engineering right to the crew. Braniff Airlines featured bright yellow airplanes and commercials with plenty of star power. Even artist Andy Warhol promoted the hip airline company that was all about taking air travel to the next level.

With flight attendant uniforms, the Pucci designs not only focused on fashion but efficiency. In the accompanying popular YouTube clip, a Braniff flight attendant performs a playful “strip tease” to show how the uniforms change to accommodate day and night flights. In the second video you’ll be seeing a great montage of the Pucci-designed Braniff Airlines uniforms. They might make you re-think flying in sweats and flip flops.

Written by: Lourdes Gutierrez

Guest Writer

This article is written by a guest writer. Do you have an review, interview or story you want to share? Send it to us and get a chance to be published on Ultra Swank.

Find out more about Guest Writer

  • Tob

    I certainly remember those heady days at Braniff. Flying back then was fun in a regulated industry. The death of Braniff, along with the growth of low cost airlines like Southwest, was the Airline deregulation act of 1978. It brought about industry chaos, airline bankruptcies, mergers and lower pay for flight crews. We are still feeling the effects in the industry today. Only Southwest has kept flying fun even though they gave up on hot pants for their flight attendants years ago.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Fashion: Emilio Pucci and the Uniforms of Braniff Airlines | Ultra Swank -- Topsy.com()

  • Diego

    You aren't going to believe this, but I just recently found some Pucci designed textiles (re-released) in a fabric store in Indonesia and had some it made into a shirt. It is incredibly wild and a friend told me people were going to need dark glasses to look at it!

  • Great. Pucci was a very talented designer.

  • Pingback: California: Sacramento « Mercedes Touring()

  • Pingback: Emilio Pucci Uniforms & Bubble Helmet for Braniff Airlines()

  • Braniff also had a Halston-designed uniform from 1977 onwards.

  • Em Kay

    This is off topic but is the model in the picture Fiona Shaw, aka Aunt Petunia from the Harry Potter series? The resemblance is incanny.

  • Guest

    Have no info about this. Perhaps someone else here is in the know?

  • Have no info about this. Perhaps someone else here is in the know?

  • Sarah

    I found her on another site, she was an air hostess Mary Sue Seibold, who worked for Braniff from 1963 to 1983. In 2006 she sold her collection of 90 uniform pieces in an auction, including 18 complete outfits. Some were the Halston ones – I imagine less interest there! The starting price was apparently $100,000!

  • joe

    what one must remember is that during the sixties and seventies the airline industry was strictly regulated with regard to the fares they could charge. Consequently the only way they could compete was by offering greater and more exciting and different services and amenities. What most people don’t think about is the fact that flying at that time was extremely expensive. The common person could not afford it, but deregulation brought about lower fares; consequently flying today is oftentimes like riding a bus.

Get all the goods straight to your inbox