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Mad for plaid! Stan Herman’s sketches show some of the TWA Hotel’s new uniforms.
TWA Hotel Uniforms


Designer Stan Herman fashions uniforms for the TWA Hotel decades after outfitting Trans World Airlines flight attendants

Back on the (JFK) runway! Celebrated American designer Stan Herman — who created strikingly colorful ensembles for Trans World Airlines flight attendants in the 1970s — crafted new uniforms for team members at the TWA Hotel.

Drawing inspiration everywhere from Jackie Kennedy’s classic Camelot-era jacket and skirt combos to the dapper suits of Mad Men, Herman designed distinctive looks for the hotel’s front desk, banquet and back-of-house staff. The uniforms evoke 60s spirit while remaining modern — and chic.

 TWA Stan Herman
Stan Herman (center) poses with models wearing the TWA Hotel uniforms; photo credit Isak Tiner/The New York Times/Redux.

“It’s a wake-up call to what people should look like when they enter a hotel,” says Herman, now 90. Front-desk employees dazzle in power plaid suiting, while the housekeeping staff sports what may be Herman’s favorite creation: color-blocked red and navy get-ups that bring to mind a very stylish bowling team.

 TWA Stan Herman
Sky-high fashion! TWA crew members wore Stan Herman-designed uniforms in this 1970s ad.

Herman — who has made workwear for JetBlue, FedEx, McDonald’s and other major brands — is known for going bold. His 1975 collection of dacron and wool skirts and pantsuits for TWA was marked by rich cobalt, orange and gold colors.

 TWA Stan Herman
A return to form: Stan Herman poses with the uniforms he designed for TWA, worn by the airline’s flight attendants between 1975 and 1978.

The vibrant hues stood in sharp contrast to the muted plum, navy and brown palette that Herman’s predecessor, Valentino Garavani, had used for his TWA designs. (The airline attracted the world’s most sought-after clothiers, with Oleg Cassini, Pierre Balmain and Ralph Lauren among those crafting its in-flight attire.)

 TWA Stan Herman
Checking the label: A tag in one of Stan Herman’s 1970s designs for TWA.

Not every detail went as planned back then. For the uniforms’ tan pinstriped pants, Herman dreamt up a fabric that spelled out TWA over and over. But when the 36,000 yards of printed cloth arrived, he realized the factory had omitted the space between the A and the T! Another idea that didn’t fly: Accessorizing the uniforms with faux fur coats. “We tested it," he recalls, "and the flight attendants could hardly get through the aisles."

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