SAN FRANCISCO — On May 25, the SFO Museum opened Flight Patterns—Airline Uniforms from the 1960s–70s in Terminal 1 of the San Francisco International Airport. The exhibit is open to ticketed passengers who have cleared the security area, and will remain on view until March 13, 2022.
Women’s fashion underwent a transformation during the 1960s and 1970s, driven by remarkable social change and a revolutionary youth culture. As fashion designers experimented with new materials and styles on the runway, airlines introduced fantastic and daring flight attendant uniforms to their cabins. During the 1960s, conservative-yet-elegant flight attendant suits evolved into ensembles that mirrored the fun-loving, free-spirit of the time. Influenced by Mod fashion and other trendy styles, these vibrant uniforms celebrated the allure of the jet-setting flight attendant. By the end of the decade, flight attendant uniforms became cool and chic rather than regimented and conservative.
The impact of trends and modern style on airline uniforms continued into the 1970s. Synthetic fabrics in vivid colors and striking patterns showcased the glamour of what has been called the Polyester Decade. Airline fashion in the 1970s took note of the growing women’s liberation movement, evidenced by forward-thinking ensembles that included pants—a first for female flight attendant wear. However, color palettes became more traditional towards the end of the decade as shades of brown and navy blue were reintroduced. This exhibition features some of the wilder uniforms made between 1967–74 for Braniff International Airways, Northwest Orient Airlines, Pan American World Airways, Trans World Airlines, and United Air Lines.
Visit sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/flight-patterns-airline-uniforms for more information.
About SFO Museum
Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1999 and retains the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features twenty-five galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, which houses a permanent collection of more than 140,000 objects related to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit www.sfomuseum.org. Follow us on www.facebook.com/sfomuseum, www.twitter.com/sfomuseum, or www.instagram.com/sfomuseum.