Air Canada Rouge fashion ... Toronto invaded by a very tall American president
Not sure about these new Air Canada rouge uniforms. Not sure at all.
Okay, a caveat. As a guy who owns maybe three pairs of shoes I could wear to work and probably six pairs of flip-flops, I maybe shouldn't critique fashion. But as a frequent flyer, I think I get a bit of a voice in terms of the new Air Canada Rouge outfits, unveiled today and reported on by Star business reporter Vanessa Lu.
The airline clearly is trying to get a little jiggy, if you like, so I like the fedoras. A tad late on the "cool hat" bandwagon but still fairly distinctive.
At first glance, I dont' like the scarves or ties at all; they look like a mish-mash to me. They were done by a high-end Montreal designer and they spell out the word Rouge. Maybe they look better in person but I don't like them a great deal from what I've seen.
As for the red sweaters and vests, okay, that makes sense. It IS Air Canada rouge, after all. I'm not so wild about the shade of red, to be honest. And I don't like it with the grey as it looks like a TTC driver's outfit, and we all know how unreliable Toronto's transit commission is on a daily basis. Let's hope Rouge doesnt' follow suit, if you will...
Oh, yeah, the shoes. I already mentioned the flip-flops, which shows how little I care about shoes. But some folks care. A lot. So here goes; the men's and women's shoes are from Fluevog. Which means about as much to me as a dinner menu in original Albanian. But folks in the know seem to like them a lot.
Today's Star has a great story from Vanessa Lu today on how rouge, which is due to fly its first flight on July 1, has hired the folks from Disney to help their new workers.
They'll pretty much deny it, but Air Canada realizes that a lot of folks love flying WestJet because of the welcoming, friendly atmosphere. Air Canada is a very good airline, but warm and fuzzy isn't quite the operating mantra in the same way it is, or often appears to be, with WestJet.
So it's fascinating to see them hiring a company like Disney to put on a kind and happy face.
According to a memo sent to the trainees on Sunday, obtained by Lu, the first group of 150 candidates will head to Florida next month for hands-on training at the Disney Institute. They’ll hone their skills and techniques at Disney World parks in Orlando.
“We looked at several top customer service providers,” writes Annette Anand, director of Rouge’s inflight service. “(Disney) was the most comprehensive and in line with our vision for creating a very different and service-focused culture.”
The fact that Disney’s visitors include children and families plus adults of all ages helped tip the choice, given Rouge expects to draw mostly leisure travellers, heading to Europe and sun destinations, beginning in July.
As part of an agreement, Rouge flight attendants are being asked to cover a portion of the training costs. They must commit to having $49 a month deducted from their gross wages for up to three years.
If they leave within 36 months of completing the training, they will required to pay back any remaining amount owed.
ILLINOIS INVADES TORONTO
On the weekend it was the turn of the state of Illinois, who put on a fine, fine show at Yonge and Dundas. There was a massive display of many of the treats you'll find in the state of Illinois: a very large Ferris wheel (they were invented for the world expo in Chicago a century ago), a bald eagle (very cool), a smokin' blues band, a barbeque truck (Chicago and Illinois in general are famous for great barbeque) and displays from the fabulous Art Institute of Chicago and a Route 66 display, since the famous route starts (or ends, depending on your point of view) in downtown Chicago.
Best of all, for some, anyway, was a tall, skinny guy with a scrawny beard and a black stovepipe hat and a black and white suit standing in front of a mock White House. Being a smart ass and all, I walked up to him and said, "That's the WORST Thomas Jefferson outfit I've ever seen."
I don't think he was even slightly amused, but he did agree to pose with a smart aleck travel editor who had ridden his bike down Yonge St. for a few miles and probably wasn't the model of personal hygiene at that particular moment....
Anyway, if you missed it's too bad as they did a wonderful job.
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