|Bikini-wear to make Biggles blush as RAF launch new fashion label
26th March 2007
The Royal Air Force has unveiled its "Ralph Lauren-style" fashion range for men and women. It said the 50-strong collection would help raise the RAF's profile.
A bikini decorated with a pink and blue version of the RAF roundel, T-shirts and a leather flying jacket are included in the range.
Men's garments carry RAF wings on the labels and the motto "rise above the rest". The women's clothes are labelled with the letters RAF in silver alongside a crown.
The collection goes on sale online from tomorrow and one "quintessentially British" high street chain is said to be interested in stocking it.
It was unveiled today in the President's Room of the 89-year-old Royal Air Force Club on London's Piccadilly.
Prices range from £25 for T-shirts through to £60 for jeans and £150 for a flying jacket.
RAF head of communications, Group Captain Andy Turner, said the launch was more about raising positive publicity for the RAF than making money.
"It is a bit like Ralph Lauren, that sort of style of clothing. High quality, developed with great taste and aiming at the centre of England in terms of psychology and type of people," he said.
The British-designed clothes are manufactured in Europe and the Far East for London-based clothing firm JOI - the RAF's commercial partner in the venture.
Any money made by the RAF will go towards the Royal Air Force Museum's two sites in England. JOI managing director Nick Adams said the firm was in talks with one UK high street chain and with retailers in the US.
"The States look like they are going to go absolutely mad over it because they love anything royal and anything British," he said.
RAF public relations spokesman, Squadron Leader Kev Harris, said: "I think it is an excellent use of the RAF brand. No money is going into it from us whatsoever, we are getting something for nothing.
"We are getting our brand on the street and a new channel to communicate with the public. It is not for recruiting but there will obviously be some spin-off for recruiting."
The official RAF collection goes on sale via from tomorrow. It will also be sold via the RAF Museum and at UK air shows.