Two more tales have come from Nicholas Leonard’s great great grandfather’s archive. An early U.S. flight company approached Percival Stein in regard to their zeppelin flight service which was losing money left and right. It appeared that nobody trusted the hefty aircraft and preferred not to fly with the company.
Percival Stein had an idea on how to influence people’s flight decisions. He decided to publicize the company as providing a luxury flight service and happened to be the first person to come up with the idea to provide the aircraft crew with a beautifully chic uniform that would be in keeping with such a luxury craft.
A designer from France was chosen to create the uniforms from some of the most expensive fabrics, but as the sizes in the US differed from those in France, a mistake was made in the pattern cutting. Although the uniforms were stunning, and the airhostesses modelled them beautifully for the papers, some rather embarrassing moments ensued during some scheduled flights across the U.S. Armpits and skirt seams split in numerous places, making the crew look shoddy and untidy.
An American designer was employed to fix the uniforms or remake them in the proper sizing. Stein also employed a photographer to take pictures of the zeppelin and its crew in all kinds of luxurious destinations for calendars and promotional purposes, thus starting the trend for luxury flights and destinations. Unfortunately, none of these pictures are available as they were destroyed when the home of the British photographer who was hired to take them was bombed during the second world war.