Flashback: Bata Flies High with Singapore Airlines

Attractive black pumps, custom-designed by Bata for the airline, completed the crisp, professional look of the jacket and mid-calf skirt worn by the flight attendants from 1947 to 1956. The soft leather upper and wide, low heel provided comfort and stability as the hostesses moved about the cabin of the propeller planes of the time. The custom pump has proven an enduring style. Today’s Bata Samantha with its slightly rounded toe and similar wide heel is highly reminiscent of this classic look.

As Malayan Airways grew and times changed, Bata adapted with the airline. The introduction of turbo-prop airplanes led to more flights per day and, with the introduction of international routes, longer times spent in the air. Comfortable clothes and shoes for the cabin crews became even more important.

In 1957 the flight attendant’s look was completely redesigned. The new outfits consisted of knee-length, straight skirts and cream blouses. Bata created a Mary Jane shoe in brown to complement the new colors of the uniform and go with the fashion trends of the time.

After 1962, Malayan Airways went through several changes in ownership and corporate restructuring, eventually becoming two separate airlines – Malaysian Airline System and Singapore Airlines. However, Bata continues to adorn the feet of the “Singapore Girl,” the modern-day iteration of the airline’s original hostesses.