Virgin Atlantic is officially saying goodbye to gendered uniforms. The British airline announced an update to its gender identity policy on September 28, which removes the requirement to wear gendered uniforms for the airline’s crew, pilots, and ground team. Virgin Atlantic shared the new policy through a video and social media campaign.
Back in 2014, Virgin Atlantic introduced uniforms designed by fashion legend Vivienne Westwood. Among the gendered options was a uniform “for female cabin crew” that consisted of a red ensemble featuring a body-hugging jacket, a pencil skirt, and red heels. Meanwhile, men sported burgundy or gray three-piece suits. The changes instaurated with the policy update will allow Virgin Atlantic’s people to choose their preferred uniform option regardless of their gender identity.
“It’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work. It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns,” Juha Järvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.
For the announcement, Virgin Atlantic tapped media personality Michelle Visage, who is better known for her involvement in RuPaul’s Drag Race. Visage appeared alongside crew members of the airline, as well as performers Talulah-Eve, Tyreece Nye, and activist Tanya Compas, founder of Exist Loudly, an organization that supports Black LGBTQ+ youth.
“As the mother of a non-binary child, and as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, these efforts by Virgin Atlantic to further inclusivity for its people are extremely important and personal to me,” Michelle Visage shared regarding her participation in the campaign. “People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them, and this gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are and bring their full selves to work.”