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Coyotes collaborate with fashion designer to develop new third jersey

The Arizona Coyotes have added another step in its rebrand with the newest third jersey.

With the new design, the team didn’t stray from its dwelling with the latest desert-inspired jersey. From the rugged edges and outlines of mountains to the burgundy color, the latest offering evokes Arizona.

The special edition “Desert Night” jersey created by Rhuigi Villaseñor, the team’s creative strategist and global fashion designer, will make its debut Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights at Mullett Arena.

When Villaseñor, the founder and creative director of Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Rhude, was hired by the team in October, he became a trailblazer as the only fashion designer to work with an NHL team. Other teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, have worked with fashion brands.

“I think outside of the box so much, this is how I wanted to approach the sport of hockey,” Villaseñor said. “When I think about Arizona, I think about pottery and the color of clay, the color of the sun, sunrises and sunsets, all these different tones that are a part of the American DNA. I wanted to create something global and memorable. The goal is to amplify Arizona to the world, so we did that.”

One of the most important elements was changing the team’s existing howling coyote head logo which has been disappearing over the years with the return of the Kachina logo.

The Coyotes have long earned style points over the franchise’s existence with a myriad of jersey choices. Collaborating with a designer with the vision of designing a streetwear jersey was another step.

“It was important for us as we see this influx of sports, fashion, and culture to be on the front end of it and trailblaze,” Coyotes chief brand officer Alex Meruelo Jr. said. “To get Rhuigi, a designer, to use his fashion name versus one of his brands was cutting edge and we’re excited about it.”

Read more: Coyotes come back for OT win over Red Wings

Different from past logo-centric jerseys, the Coyotes featured “Arizona” front and center in sand-colored cursive letters. The star located on the “I” represents the desert night when coyotes hunt and the state flag. The geckos from the shoulder patch of the team’s original green third jersey are inside the collar.

The pants will have a sand-colored cactus on them to go with the burgundy helmets and gloves.

Including Sunday’s game, the Coyotes will wear the third jerseys 14 times at home this season. On top of selling the jerseys, the team will also launch a capsule collection with the same branding on clothing and hats.

“We drew a lot of inspiration from the mountains to the sand to shooting stars and cacti with the rough textures and edges,” Meruelo said. “The wordmark for example isn’t straight and firm, it’s very edgy, it’s bent and curved. We tried to really take from Arizona as a whole and make it a jersey.”

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