The Arizona Coyotes have added another step in their rebrand with their new third jersey.
With the new design, the team didn’t leave home with their latest desert-inspired jersey. From the rugged peaks and silhouettes of the mountains to the burgundy hues, the latest offering evokes Arizona.
The special edition “Desert Night” jersey, created by the team’s creative strategist and international fashion designer, Rugi Villasenor, will make its debut Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights at Mullet Arena.
Villaseñor, founder and creative director of Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Rhude, became the only fashion designer to work with an NHL team when he was hired by the team in October. Other teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, have worked with fashion brands.
“I think outside the box, that’s how I want to approach the sport of hockey,” said Villaseñor. “When I think of Arizona, I think of clay and the color of clay, the color of the sun, sunrises and sunsets, all these different sounds that are part of America’s DNA. I wanted to create something universal and memorable. The goal was to highlight Arizona to the world, so we did that.”
After the return of the Kachina logo, it was one of the main changes to the team’s existing roaring coyote head logo, which had been missing for years.
The Coyotes have scored style points with several jersey choices over the franchise’s existence. Collaborating with a designer who had the vision to design streetwear jerseys was another step.
“When we saw this ebb and flow of sports, fashion and culture, it was important for us to stay ahead of it and follow it,” said Alex Merulo Jr., Coyotes’ chief brand officer. “Having designer Rhuigi use his name in fashion for one of the brands was great and we’re really excited about that.”
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The Coyotes also featured “Arizona” front and center in sand-colored cryptic lettering, a departure from past logo-centric jerseys. The star on the “I” represents the desert night and the state flag as coyotes hunt. The team’s original green third jersey has geckos on the shoulders in the collar.
The pants will have a sand colored cactus to go with the burgundy helmet and gloves.
Including Sunday’s game, the Coyotes have worn the third jersey 14 times this season. In addition to selling the jerseys, the team will also launch a capsule collection of apparel and hats with the same branding.
“From mountains to sand to stars and cacti, we drew on a lot of inspiration to shoot with rough textures and edges,” Merulo said. “For example, the wordmark is not straight and strong, it is very crooked, curved and curved. In general, we took it from Arizona and tried to make it a jersey.