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Travel

UN guides get a new wardrobe

Since 1952, United Nations tour guides have conducted tours through the New York Headquarters. Their new uniforms were designed by Elie Tahari.

Tahari, who spent his childhood in Israel and emigrated to the US as a teenager, designed the new ensembles on a pro bono basis. "As an immigrant who came to this country with nothing, it is so humbling for me to be partnering with the United Nations to dress their tour guides, who are their ambassadors to the public," Tahari said.

The new-look uniform is in tailored dark navy wool to create an "elegant, modern and important" look, Tahari said in a statement. The ensembles take inspiration from some of the world's highest flyers - flight attendants - with a jacket with narrow lapel, sharply tailored trousers or pencil skirt and a classic white collar blouse with ties and scarves embroidered with the UN emblem.  

Designers including Christian Dior, Harve Benard and Benetton have lent their skills to the UN designs over the years. The original UN guide uniforms of the 1950s had a military style with a tailored suit and cordons, but by the late 1960s designers were channelling airline chic - with designs by Frank Smith, designer for Pan American Airlines.

More than 42 million visitors have taken a guided tour at UN headquarters and the site receives around 250,000 visitors a year.

is/at (dpa)