Helsinki Airport fashion show

APEX Insight: Airports provide a bustling backdrop and keen audience for a showcase of top global fashion. Designers and airlines are hosting airport exhibits and fashion shows that promote local talent – and lure travelers away from the less glamorous tedium of waiting for their flights.

Travel and the high-flying world of fashion have long gone hand in hand, not just because of their mutual use of runways. Fashion Weeks take place all over the world, bringing celebrity guests and designers to glamorous high fashion events in Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo to airports. Gone are the days when fashion’s influence at the airport extended only as far as the duty-free.

Travelers arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport for Paris Fashion Week over the past several days were met with a photography exhibition showcasing the runway style of 27 unique passengers. The photographs were taken by Jonathan Paciullo, the man behind the high-end street style Instagram account, LeFrenchyStyle, and remind visitors of Paris’ status as a fashion capital.

On May 24, Finnair will host a fashion show at Helsinki Airport, titled “Match Made in HEL,” where seven top international designers will present their latest catwalk designs on Runway 2. “Fashion connects and inspires people, and we see this on a daily basis as we connect Europe and Asia with our flights,” says Johanna Jäkälä, Finnair’s vice-president of Brand, Marketing and Loyalty. “With this fashion show, we want to celebrate the connections between Europe and Asia, and showcase the work of some of the hottest designers from these two continents.”

“We want to celebrate the connections between Europe and Asia, and showcase the work of some of the hottest designers from these two continents.” – Johanna Jäkälä, Finnair’s vice president of Brand, Marketing and Loyalty

Last year at Boryspil International Airport, passengers were given a stylish send-off as Ukrainian designers gave a preview of their runway show through the airport concourse before heading to New York Fashion Week.

Top fashion label Chanel took the connection between airports and haute couture one step further last October when it created a utopian pop-up airport as the setting for its first class spring fashion show at the Grand Palais. The experience, complete with luggage and boarding passes, gave attendees a world tour of fashion – all from the comfort of a seat that never left the ground.