Martin Grant on his first flight, Qantas and flight attendants


We all know that Paris-based designer Martin Grant is designing the new Qantas uniforms, but did you know that when he was 10, a flight attendant gave him her number?

The Australian designer launched his fashion line back in 1992 in Paris and has been a frequent flyer in the last 12 months thanks to his appointment with the Australian airline. Since launching his fashion line over 20 years ago, Martin has built a loyal clientele (which includes a who’s who list of elegant leading ladies of the silver screen) who adore his talent for bespoke tailoring and elegant designs. Based out of the fashionable Marais district, we did a walk by Martin’s atelier when we were in Paris last year because we dared not to disturb Martin during madness that is Paris Fashion Week.

“People have to dare themselves to come in here,” Martin told The Good Weekend last year, and we had to agree. His atelier is marked only by a brass plaque (pictured). Martin was in Australia recently and we we sat down to have a chat about various fashion & air travel topics and discovered some new things that you may not have known about him.

SB: What was your first memory of flying?

Martin: My first flight was from Australia to Europe. I must have been about 10 and I remember spending most of the flight at the flight attendants station and ended up making friends with one of them. She gave me her phone number and said to call if my family and I had time to see a bit of Malaysia during our stopover.

SB: I know you can’t talk too much about the new Qantas unforms, but flight or flying has been a constant inspiration for fashion designers, how will you interpret that inspiration into the Qantas uniforms?

Martin: At this stage in the project it’s difficult to speak about inspirations. I am looking at a modern version of “the glamour of air travel”.

SB: Since we’re talking about flying and fashion – would you hold a runway show in an airplane? If so, where would the plane be flying to and from?

Martin: I love the idea of a runway show in an air plane. It would need to be a fairly short flight as a show normally last max 20mins. Melbourne to Sydney could be just right.

SB: If you could go back in time to when you first moved to Europe, what advice would you give yourself? Would you change anything that happened?

Martin: There is nothing I would change. I live by a no regrets policy , I always think that any experience, good or bad, is valuable. I was quite naive when I started my business in France and i see this as an advantage.

SB: What advice would you give young aspiring fashion designers?

Martin: Be prepared for hard work!

qantas-martin-grant-models Martin Grant with the old Qantas uniforms

Helen Lee is the Qantas Fashion Correspondent.