Brussels Airlines organizes an art school competition to design a new uniform

Late last year, Brussels Airlines surprised the industry by unveiling details of a major rebrand, including the introduction of a new livery and brand identity. The airline does not stop at these details, because by summer 2023 Brussels Airlines will have new uniforms for all its staff.

Out with the old

Brussels Airlines’ current uniforms were designed by Xandres Corporate, and the company has worked with the Belgian carrier for more than a decade. In addition, the company is responsible for the daily order tracking and stock management of Brussels Airlines uniforms. Xandres Corporate also delivers to a postal pick-up point of the staff’s choice for more convenience.

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The current uniforms worn by the airline’s cabin crew and airport staff are a red color which symbolizes the passion and style of Brussels Airlines. The design is said to represent elegance, originality and functionality, which was true to the airline’s previous brand image.

Male flight attendants were given a choice of a plain or slim tie, while ladies received a classic sash in 2017. Photo: Xandres Corporation

However, given the significant rebranding of the airline, the current uniforms must be discontinued. Not only does Brussels Airlines want to refresh its aircraft fleet with a new livery, but the airline also wants to offer the same opportunity to its staff. The new uniforms will be part of the new brand identity of the Belgian carrier and will underline the value of diversity and Belgian character.


With the new

Nothing speaks more of the Belgian character than collaborating with a local school, which is why Brussels Airlines specifically partnered with the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp to design the uniform. Five outstanding students were mainly chosen to participate in the contest within the Fashion department, as celebrated by Michel Moriaux, Head of Marketing at Brussels Airlines:

“The Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is internationally recognized in the world of fashion. The academy exudes quality and Belgianness, which makes it the ideal partner for Brussels Airlines. With this collaboration , we want to support emerging talents and offer the Belgian fashion scene a global stage.”

As for diversity, the airline has surveyed all of its staff to identify their needs and preferences to ensure they feel most comfortable in their new uniform. Once requirements and preferences were identified, the five selected students were briefed to convey the new brand identity in the design of the new uniform.


Each student had to design three signature elements to become the winner and creator of the complete Brussels Airlines uniform. Eventually, of the five selected, a sophomore named Gabrielle Szwarcenberg emerged as the winner of the competition, and she celebrated her victory by saying:

“To have been selected among the incredibly talented designers in the Antwerp fashion department is already an honor, but to have been chosen as the winner is breathtaking for me. I am so delighted to have the opportunity to completely rethinking the aesthetic airline with a new design perspective; and especially for such an iconic Belgian company as Brussels Airlines.”

In the coming months, Brussels Airlines and Gabrielle Szwarcenberg will design all parts of the uniform and choose a supplier to produce them. Photo: Brussels Airlines

At the end of the line

When Brussels Airlines unveiled its new livery, the reception was mixed. The new uniform, developed by talented fashion designers, might be a bigger hit. It will be interesting to see what new designer Gabrielle Szwarcenberg has to offer as the aviation community eagerly awaits the unveiling next year.


Kayleen C. Rice