NEW YORK — The National Hockey League is going back to the days when goalies didn’t wear masks.

This story first appeared in the November 20, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

G-III Apparel Group, the New York-based apparel company that produces licensed NHL looks, has introduced a vintage hockey collection modeled after logos once worn by players in the 86-year-old league. The fashion-driven collection is part of a season-long effort by the NHL, which will include players wearing vintage jerseys in games between the league’s original six teams. In the past, the NHL has offered mostly replica looks and other basics.

Carl Banks, vice president of sports licensing for G-III Sports, said, “About 18 months ago, we started focusing more on what ladies wear for sportswear. We chose to do something sexy to see if women will buy it. We decided to modernize fabrics and silhouettes.”

During a fashion show last week at Madison Square Garden prior to a Rangers game, Banks said the line is designed with the 44-year-old fan and the 17-year-old club-goer in mind. Women account for 46 percent of the fans at NHL games, according to Brian Jennings, the NHL’s group vice president of consumer products marketing.

A stretch-denim jumpsuit with logo patches, a long-sleeved hockey jersey dress, a reversible hooded satin jacket and leather jackets are among the styles, which will retail between $45 and $500.

“This is not your basic fanwear. It’s cool and sexy,” said Banks, a former New York Giants linebacker.

Macy’s East, The Finish Line and Sports Fever are some of the stores offering the retro looks. Projected wholesale volume for G-III’s vintage women’s line is at least $500,000, NHL executives said.

Sportswear accounts for 80 percent of G-III’s vintage collection, with outerwear representing the rest.

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