How fashion and travel are aligning in new and unexpected ways

FROM luggage-free wardrobe rental services to fashion-themed luxury cruise itineraries, travel and fashion have been aligning in new and unexpected ways in recent years as both industries try to keep up with the times.

It's long been tradition for airlines to tap high-end designers when it comes to dressing their flight attendants: Virgin Atlantic enlisted Vivienne Westwood to design its uniforms in 2014; Zac Posen designed the new uniforms for Delta Air Lines; and Christian Lacroix was tasked with redesigning the uniforms for Air France.

But the travel industry is taking the industry partnership one step further, creating special rewards programs for jetsetting fashionistas who are constantly flying from one fashion week to another, or building entire cruise itineraries for lovers of high fashion.

Here's a look at some of the recent collaborations:

Runway to Runway, Etihad Airways
Created for frequent flyer fashionistas, Etihad's Runway to Runway program offers members discounts on airfare, cargo rates and special group rates for photo shoots. The exclusive gold status membership is by invitation only, reserved for editors, designers, models, photographers, stylists and bloggers. Members are entitled to lounge access, bigger baggage allowance, priority boarding and check-in. Fashionistas who haven't received their invite but are still interested can also apply for silver status for other advantages. Guest status is open to all and entails fashion news, promotions and invitations to events around the world.

Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic Fashion Week
In the second edition of its Transatlantic Fashion Week, the luxury liner Queen Mary 2 will set sail this fall with fashion icon Iris Apfel, who will present a Q & A session and introduce a showing of "Iris," a documentary on her colourful life in the world of high design and fashion. She will be joined by designer Julien Macdonald and fashion historian Colin McDowell. The Transatlantic Fashion Week sails August 31 - September 7.

UnPack for luggage-less travel
The premise is simple: After filling in an online form that includes clothing size, preferred brands and travel destination, unPack will send a suitcase filled with clothes and toiletries to the traveller's hotel, ready for pick-up upon arrival. At the end of the stay, users simply return the suitcase to the front desk. The pitch? Offering the freedom to travel luggage-free.

Hotel retail room service
In partnership with The Gap, Virgin Hotels Chicago allows guests to shop for articles online and have them delivered straight to their hotel room, within just three hours of placing the order – another concept that offers guests the freedom to travel luggage-free. — AFP Relaxnews