Shortly after presenting his debut collection for BALLY, Rhuigi Villaseñor has announced that he is partnering with the NHL‘s Arizona Coyotes as the team’s new Creative Strategist. The move follows similar appointments in the NBA as of late with Don C and Daniel Arsham assuming creative roles at the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers respectively.
Football teams such as PSG have been ahead of the curve in connecting the dots between other communities evident through their partnership with Jordan Brand and recent collaborations with VERDY and Stüssy while the MLB is a cultural treasure trove that’s recently tapped the likes of Off-White™ and BTS.
While the partnership is certainly unexpected, considering Villaseñor hails from Los Angeles, Coyotes Chief Brand Officer, Alex Meruelo Jr. found a common thread with the designer in their shared passion for merging sports with fashion and culture. The sport of Hockey remains relatively untapped and through Rhude’s collaboration with McLaren F1, Villaseñor is familiar with breaking into lesser-explored verticals. His partnership with the Coyotes is expected to yield exclusive collections, special-edition jerseys, and other activations as he delivers his take on the Coyotes’ team identity and looks to bring hockey influences to the streets.
“We really bonded over dinner, with [Alex] and his father, family values, and core beliefs. All the things that are foundational in building a strong friendship. Kind of like when starting a basketball team – when your homies are talented – you might as well play with your homies. For us, we’re building this – hockey team, and it’s going to be an interesting take,” said Villaseñor via Forbes.
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