August 30, 2017 – Gulf Air has been gifted back a little bit of its history. A signed sketch by the late Joy Stokes, designer of Gulf Air’s cabin crew uniforms in the 1960s and 1970s, has been donated by her son Michael Stokes to the national carrier. Now framed and hung, visitors to the airline’s Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge at Bahrain International Airport can enjoy viewing this attractive part of the airline’s heritage.
Professionally trained in art and design, Stokes’ Gulf Air cabin crew uniform designs from the 1960s till the late 1970s defined the look of the airline: from the turtle collar dress and pillbox-style beret, to the then-revolutionary concept of outfitting both male and female cabin crew in trousers and theadaptation of the Middle Eastern headscarf in chiffon flowing from a central pillow box cap. Today, a version of the original headdress design is still worn by Gulf Air’s female crew.
Commenting on Stokes’ reign as uniform designer Ahmed Janahi, Gulf Air’s CCO said, “During her time in Bahrain, Joy made an indelible mark on Gulf Air’s history. Designing some of our national carrier’s first uniforms, Joy helped shape the ‘face’ of Gulf Air for many years. We are delighted to receive and showcase her original sketch in our popular Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge at Bahrain International Airport – helping us celebrate the immensely positive and enduring impact Joy made.”
Joy’s son Michael Stokes added, “Joy Stokes was inspired by the brilliant light and vibrant colors of Bahrain and the Gulf. She loved wandering in the souqs and markets of Bahrain where she could derive ideas for her designs and drawings. She shared her passion for Bahrain with her husband, Jimmy Stokes, a captain with Gulf Aviation/Air, who joined the airline in 1961. Joy would be deeply humbled and honored by the recognition that Gulf Air is providing to her in prominently displaying her original uniform design in the Gulf Air Falcon Gold lounge. As a family we are privileged and delighted by the enduring link with Gulf Air and Bahrain that this represents.”