National icons: there are not so many around these days. When Brussels Airlines approached Atelier Content as a partner for their new uniforms, we couldn’t help but dance for joy. The parallels are obvious. Like Atelier Content, Brussels Airlines is striving for quality in a market dominated by price-cutting. It is one of the last airlines to still exude a spark of glamour and elegance in the now rather mundane world of air travel.
The words ‘cabin crew’ automatically conjure up the more glamourous aspects of the profession. Beautiful, smiling women soaring through the skies to dream-like locations in the company of burly pilots. But long-haul flights also involve lots of time on your feet. High-quality shoes made on comfortable lasts are a prerequisite – but without sacrificing elegance. Which is precisely the Atelier Content ethos. Moreover, the principles are enshrined in our company philosophy.
The Brussels Airlines staff – from management to the cabin crew – put our initial designs through their paces. They were insistent. Fit and comfort are non-negotiable, especially at an altitude of 10,000 metres. Imagine having to smile politely at passengers through gritted teeth because your feet hurt. Which is why Brussels Airlines is offering its cabin crew and airport staff a choice of five different Atelier Content models: pumps with three different heel heights plus a flat shoe and a ballerina.
No one understands the needs of cabin crew quite like Michel Decremer, owner of the Carmi shops that have worked with Brussels Airlines for decades. Luckily for us, he is one of Atelier Content’s biggest fans. He immediately made the link between the iconic airline and our iconic shoes. He mentored us throughout the entire project and we could not be prouder of the finished results. We are deeply grateful for his support and expertise.
Brussels Airlines prefers understated designs in the same dark blue of the uniform. Atelier Content only makes leather shoes. At the request of the airline, we used an Italian vegan variant made from natural grape waste for this project. Quite a challenge for our Italian craftsmen who work in small, traditional ateliers. Vegan leather was new to them. Convincing them of the merits of this innovative material, and familiarising them with its properties, was no easy task. Fortunately, we love a challenge. It keeps us on our toes!
The shoes will be handmade exclusively for Brussels Airlines and will launch as part of the uniform in spring 2024. They are not commercially available and carry the label: ‘Nele Content for Brussels Airlines’.
Who knows, you might spot them on your next flight!