High-Flying Design

Teresa Helbig Is The Designer Behind The New Iberia Uniforms

01/30/2020 · By Redacción TAB
nuevos uniformes iberia by teresa helbig openning
Models from different generations wore the new uniforms and flooded the runway during the show. © Iberia

Teresa Helbig is the designer behind the new Iberia uniforms. A collection that brings together craftsmanship, haute couture and avant-garde materials while looking back at the past, but with its sights set on the future, to rewrite tomorrow.

After two years of hard work, since Teresa Helbig became the designer of the new Iberia uniforms, the new collection was presented during the 71st edition of the MBFWMadrid, as part of the official programme. We spent a couple of hours with her backstage before the show. The atmosphere is full of energy, excitement and talent. She explains what the creative process for these pieces was like. “We’ve been working on these garments since February 2018, when the jury made their decision. Our proposal gave particular priority to aesthetics and design. The idea was that functionality, resistance and beauty were equally important. After these years of hard work, I can say that we’ve made it”, explains the designer. Furthermore: “The big challenge for us was adapting the creative concept of haute couture to mass production and the needs of each job (ground staff and cabin crew, flight attendants, supervisors...), as well as the necessary materials, taking into account uniform technical requirements”.

The result of these two years of hard work was presented on Saturday, February 1, on the BENZ runway before more than 800 people, including authorities, guests and the employees themselves who will wear this uniform in the coming months. The collection was presented through impressive staging, featuring an audiovisual production that took the audience on a trip to the future and a striking neon tunnel through which the models walked onto the runway, as if it were an airport boarding bridge. “We’ve created this proposal out of emotion, because flying and designing are very similar: both try to make dreams come true. These garments are not conceived as simple uniforms, but garments that, as well as being comfortable and functional, are also flattering and maintain their style and elegance in the years to come”, explains the designer.

With this proposal, Teresa Helbig joins the list of designers (Pedro Rodríguez, Manuel Pertegaz, Elio Bernhayer, Alfredo Caral and Adolfo Domínguez) who, since 1952 until 2002, provided the airline with their know-how to create their uniforms. “I believe that, for the first time, the past, present and future are united to create a collection that, as well as responding to classic couture and craftmanship codes, also responds to a modern and current aesthetic”.

The collection consists of twenty garments including dresses, skirts, trousers, blouses, coats and accessories such as scarves, ties, handbags or gloves, with a clear focus on an elegant, practical and avant-garde style, made with high quality fabrics with maximum functionality. A collection that also evokes qualities such as “closeness, excellence, and commitment to service”, in the words of the designer herself. Attributes that make sense and take shape in pieces that shy away from stiffness but whose elegance remains intact and deliberately timeless, perhaps with a nod to retro silhouettes. “With Teresa Helbig, we always say that we need to go back in time to take a step towards the future. Once more, we’ve gone over lifelong handcrafted tailoring to transform it into a more modern and current concept. This is reflected in details such as jackets with high creases, narrow lapels and ties or short fitted jackets. The coat features an attractive unisex flair, while feminine trousers aim to aid movement and pencil skirts and dresses are reinvented to become wearable day-to-day”, she explains.

“With Teresa Helbig, we always say that we need to go back in time to take a step towards the future. Once more, we’ve gone over lifelong handcrafted tailoring to transform it into a more modern and current concept”

The collection’s colour range sticks to navy blue tones (main colour), nude and Iberia’s business colours: red and yellow. “Navy blue represents balance, commitment and trust, while red embodies passion, dedication and vitality, and yellow highlights the company’s youthful and energetic side”. As for the colour nude, it represents authenticity and neutrality, and complements the mosaic of tones, both in details on cuffs, necklines and backlines that play with the concept of “now you see it, now you don’t”, like some blouse elements.

The uniforms will make their debut “in the air” before the summer, when the company’s 6,500 employees will wear the new designs, travelling to the more than 140 destinations in the 48 countries that Iberia operates in. “I like to think that these uniforms will make the employees wearing them feel like themselves. I want them to feel beautiful or handsome, flattered, empowered and proud to wear them”, declares Helbig. Spanish design has never flown so high.