The start of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend has been marked with the official unveiling by Etihad Airways of the new F1 Grid Girls uniform created by celebrated New York-based Nepalese designer, Prabal Gurung. At the launch held in the Paddock Club at Yas Marina Circuit, the designer said, “We are so excited to design this uniform with Etihad. Etihad’s foray into fashion is truly an innovative break from tradition. Similarly, we wanted to challenge the conceived notion of how Grid Girls are typically dressed. Together, we are proud to create a jumpsuit with a strong shoulder and our signature architectural approach – something a bit unexpected, yet still feminine and empowering.”
The new uniform, which will be worn by Etihad Airways’ cabin crew during the three-day event, will also be seen on TV by hundreds of millions of motorsport fans worldwide. IMG Model Chanel Iman was chosen to unveil the black jumpsuit through a video model diary and photo shoot, shot on location at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and in front of an Etihad Airways F1-branded Airbus A380.
Gurung, whose eponymous label was established in 2009, grew up in the Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and moved to New York to complete his studies at Parsons The New School for Design.
The collaboration with Gurung is the latest initiative by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to become the fashion industry’s preferred airline. The designer was chosen to work with the airline due to his strong association with entertainment, including film, television and theatre, and has become a leading voice for fashion and feminism, deeming Gurung an ideal fit for the project.
Last year, Etihad Airways struck a global agreement with WME IMG as a long-term partner of the fashion industry connecting the airline with the fashion capitals of the world.
Patrick Pierce, vice president, marketing partnerships, Etihad Airways, said, “This new collaboration for the F1 Grid Girl uniform is part of our ongoing commitment to the fashion world in which Etihad Airways is now intrinsically part of. Working with Prabal has been great – he is not only a perfect fit for the airline, but for creating the new uniform for one of the largest events in this region. We are lucky to have him here today.”
Runway to Runway is an exclusive travel programme tailored specifically to the international fashion community, including editors, designers, models, photographers, stylists, students of fashion, bloggers and fashion industry executives, plus the global community of fashion devotees. This will be the airline’s second year sponsoring 17 international fashion weeks.