Etihad Airways leveraged its sponsorships of global fashion weeks and its Platinum Partner status of Louvre Abu Dhabi to launch a new Emirati designed loungewear collection at an exclusive reception held last night at the iconic cultural institution. The stylish new line by Emirati brand A Friend of Mine by Xpoze will be offered to the airline’s guests on all First Class flights, and also to those staying in The Residence on board the Airbus A380 fleet.
The ‘Night at the Museum’ event was jointly hosted by Etihad Airways and influential fashion luminary Lauren Santo Domingo, co-founder of online luxury fashion retailer, Moda Operandi, and attended by leading figures from the world of fashion including models Halima Aden and Eric Rutherford, as well as global fashion and lifestyle media.
The loungewear collection was designed by A Friend of Mine by Xpoze following an extensive brief from the airline, which was seeking innovative and striking designs for inflight apparel which would be comfortable, functional, and would follow the same attention to detail and design principles held by Etihad Airways. Importantly, the creations would have to be high-quality, wearable onboard for relaxing and sleeping, yet be simple and stylish enough to be worn outdoors or matched with other items of clothing.
Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways Vice President Guest Experience and Delivery, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the new Etihad loungewear collection here at Louvre Abu Dhabi. This is after all an Abu Dhabi story. What the ladies at a Friend of Mine have managed to deliver is a testament to the tremendous talent and creativity which has become synonymous with our home city.
“In today’s throw-away culture, it has never been more important for us to challenge the norms and to create clothing which can be enjoyed inflight, yet be strong and trendy enough to be kept and worn again as a bespoke item, whether relaxing at home or out with friends. By doing so we also present our guests with a long-lasting and valuable memento of their experience with us. This is something uniquely Etihad and reinforces our position as the airline of innovation and choice.”
The new loungewear is inspired by the simplicity, clean lines and timeless elegance of traditional Emirati dress, cleverly combined with current global trends to create an aesthetic unique to Etihad. Simple, earthy colours have been used to ensure that the pieces in the collection complement all skin tones, and can be easily matched with other items of clothing for everyday wear. Made of anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic Modal, the loungewear is free of unnecessary stitching and embellishments and is crease-resistant and breathable.
A Friend of Mine by Xpoze was founded by Rawdha Al Shaffar, Buthaina Al Marri and Fatma Al Muddhareb. In November 2017, the young Emirati brand was announced as the winner of a major competition launched by Etihad Airways in partnership with leading UAE fashion magazine Zahrat Al Khaleej to identify the best local talent to create the new designs. The competition drew almost 71,000 votes via the publication’s social media channels.
The launch of the loungewear coincides with the debut of Moda Operandi’s Ramadan collection. Both Etihad Airways and Moda Operandi share a commitment to fashion’s expansion in the Middle East through the support of local designers. Moda Operandi is currently exploring e-commerce opportunities with young Emirati brands, offering them access to its global luxury retail platform.
This is the second time Etihad Airways has collaborated with Moda Operandi. In February 2017, the airline co-hosted a star-studded dinner with Lauren Santo Domingo at New York Fashion Week: The Shows to mark the launch of ‘Runway to Runway’, its unique rewards program specially designed to support the fashion community’s international travel requirements.