Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Locals make Jets duds

Mondetta, Richlu design clothing

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There's no hockey at the MTS Centre these days, but that hasn't kept Winnipeg Jets logos from flying around at a couple of local clothing companies.

Mondetta and Richlu Manufacturing have signed on to provide Jets Gear stores with clothing that comes with a distinctive flair.

Mondetta is providing zip-up hoodies, active-wear jackets and yoga pants for women and soft-shell hoodies, "parachuter" jackets and leather melton jackets for men.

Richlu, meanwhile, is making "work and weekend wear" -- jackets you could wear doing chores or coaching hockey -- for men and women.

Most of the Jets clothing available for retail sale is produced by Reebok.

Mondetta custom designs all of its Jets wear at its Winnipeg headquarters, right down to the zipper pulls featuring the air force-inspired logo.

The designs are first done on paper. But before production samples are ordered, the logos and other design features are literally cut out and pinned to the garments to see how they look.

If Mondetta making Jets clothing sounds familiar, it should. The company partnered with the previous incarnation of the team, and former stars such as Teemu Selanne, Alexei Zhamnov and Keith Tkachuk were often seen wearing Mondetta Jets sweatshirts.

Richlu isn't new to the party, either. President Gavin Rich said the company made Manitoba Moose gear for True North Sports & Entertainment.

Both of its lines, Tough Duck and Work King, may be geared toward working, but Rich has seen quite a bit of crossover.

"What you may wear for work is also what you wear to the Jets game in the evening. Our 'freezer' jacket is a fashion statement right now. It's where work, leisure and the weekend all come together, whether you're working for a living or you're a weekend handy-person," he said.

The garments from both companies will be available exclusively at the two Jets Gear stores in town. The Richlu items are already there and Mondetta brand director Tony Lavilla said their clothing will follow once the NHL lockout is over.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 25, 2012 A2

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