Air New Zealand Clothes Hangar, Auckland

The airline adds Kiwi flair to an employee uniform shop.
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Posted June 6, 2012
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When the staff of Air New Zealand needed new uniforms – and a new place to have them fitted and sized – the airline seized an opportunity to personalize the experience.

Enlisting Auckland-based Studio Gascoigne Ltd. (New Zealand), designers created a venue that would inspire staff to take pride in their company and culture, while giving a nod to New Zealand’s proud, quirky eclecticism. Dubbed the Clothes Hangar, the space provides staff with a (free) upscale boutique experience, including personal stylists to help them select designer uniforms, and even hair and makeup consultations.

“We wanted the interior to be professional and business-like, while keeping a few light, humorous touches which reflect the New Zealand personality,” says Mark Gascoigne, principal of Studio Gascoigne.

To that end, white walls, floors and ceilings are accented with bright colors, from a can’t-miss-it pink checkout area to blue tube-shaped racks and floor graphics that taxi around the space. A row of uniformed mannequins stand among graphics of black chandeliers and multi-colored chairs. Graphics behind the cashwrap are an enlarged version of the “urban cool” print inside men’s jackets, which feature sheep, kiwis, native trees and slang phrases.

Near the entrance, hand-written Post-It notes from staffers add a personal touch. “We wanted a softer welcome to the space than a statement by the company,” says Gascoigne. “Instead, the crew shares thoughts on their new uniforms with their peers, in a real and genuine manner.”

Because the Clothes Hangar began as an office – and will be returned to this function after the uniform exchange – existing, metal-halide recessed spotlights were retained as a cost-effective measure, while a makeover area offering expert hair- and skin-care tips takes advantage of the space’s natural light.

Blake Enting of Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide (Auckland, New Zealand), which provided sub-branding and wall-graphic designs for the venue, says the overall goal for the Clothes Hangar was to bind employees flying across the globe together with a smile, whether near or far from home. Should employees care to share a bit of Kiwi pride while doing so, all the better.

Project Suppliers

Retailer: Clothes Hangar, Air New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand

Design: Studio Gascoigne Ltd. (Auckland, New Zealand) -- Imogen Ovens, design manager/marketing; Kay Marshall, new uniform project manager; Clark Pritchard, design director; Theresa Ricacho, designer

Outside Design Consultant: Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide (Auckland, New Zealand)

Audio/Visual: Kenderdine Electrical Ltd. (Auckland, New Zealand)

Fixtures: Format Limited (Auckland, New Zealand)

Flooring: Kaindl Flooring (Salzburg, Austria)

Furniture: Kartell from Backhouse Interiors (Auckland, New Zealand)

Lighting: MN8 Lighting (Auckland, New Zealand)

Signage: Sign of the Times Ltd. (North Shore City, New Zealand)

Photography: Katrina Rees, Rebecca Swan