Just got back from an amazing once in a lifetime adventure!
This was a long-awaited work assignment that we as the crew didn’t have a lot of info about beforehand. A phone call some two months ago, a date, a brief description and nothing else.
No destination, no client, no names, no details, no nothing… Something mysterious in two months. Are you in?
Of course I said yes.
The curtain of secrecy opened up about two weeks ago when we all finally got to see who was on the crew, where we were going and most importantly that Finnair and Marimekko were joining forces and our flight would be the start of it all. Once in Shanghai a press conference would be held and it all would be official.
Finnair & Marimekko. Yet another step towards being a true design airline.
The BIG launch. Marimekko’s wonderful team of pros had provided us all with individually fitted outfits to model on the flight. We would also have Marimekko dishes, linen, napkins, blankets etc on our flight to work with and even the plane would carry Marimekko’s phenominal ‘Unikko’ flowers on its belly.
Still many things had to be considered in preparation for the flight and practicing the fashion show: How long can it take, who will stay in the galleys (which have to manned), where will we change, what is the perfect moment for this (before/after dinner service), how will we get the passengers to stay put, where is it safe to stop for poses etc.
- A first ever fashion show high up in the clouds. Never been done. We had to figure it all out.
- The day of the actual flight started with some serious grooming. Hair and make-up by Marimekko’s team, thorough briefing by our own purser and yet another briefing by the Finnair planning team. Our unique Marimekko dresses handed to us, some pats on the back, a few kicks in the butt for good luck and off we went.
And once inside the airplane it was pretty much business as usual, boarding, taxiing, take off and so on until… after the apetizer service.That is the perfect moment early on in the flight when everyone is sitting comfortably, has a drink and some snacks and is selecting movies, starting on a book, relaxing.
That’s exactly when we started ever so discretely sneaking one after another to the forward galley and changed into our Marimekko clothes in silence. Meanwhile our purser announced on the PA that something ‘very special’ is happening and that the captain is now going to put on the seat-belt sign. With butterflies in the stomach we got ready to step out from behind the curtain.
And so we did.
Music composed specially for this occasion filled the air as we began our catwalk. I felt weak in the knees, shaky even, but it all went away as I met the eyes of Mr Ihamuotila (CEO of Marimekko) sitting in row 1, clapping his hands with a wide smile of excitement. Nodding his head in one big YEAH all the way!
I could not have felt prouder to be there. Proud of the crew, proud of our company, proud of Marimekko and the fact that we where there, at that very moment, representing all of it. Brands that have been around all our lives. It felt amazing.
And the atmosphere on the plane was amazing! People clapping hands, cheering, taking photos, stopping us for poses, laughing. All nationalities, all races, all ages – together enjoying the moment. Every once in a while I would meet the eyes of my colleagues walking the other aisle and it was like we couldn’t believe it, the feeling from people. The temperature rising. The warmth. Truly an incredible moment.
And then we just very quickly changed back into our uniforms, packed all outfits away and continued work as if nothing had happened. Well almost… On a normal day we get far less high fives and hugs from passengers. Or photos taken, especially during dinner service.
I love my job. And this time I loved it twice as much.