Hockey fashion is finally catching up to the female puckhead by way of innovative designer, Lise Munsie. The 27 year-old founder of JerseyMods – Little Black Jersey Co. transforms oversized NHL jerseys from back-of-the-closet forgettables into red carpet worthy wonders.
Munsie, a PhD student and diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, started Little Black Jersey Co. by accident.
“I originally made a completely original Toronto maple Leafs dress but thought it would be fun to try to make one out of a jersey since it’s hard to find fabric that matches team colours perfectly.
“I didn’t want to risk cutting up a precious Leafs’ jersey, so I thought I’d try out some designs on some other jerseys I had lying around. They turned out great, but I had no personal use for them so I decided to sell…thus JerseyMods was born.”
Her first Little Black Jersey went up for sale March, 2010 finally giving pinkpuckers a chance to ditch girly garbs and rock their teams’ sweater with personal style and flare.
Available at etsy.com and ranging from $60-$85, female fanatics choose from three basic dress designs, send in their sizing and an over-sized jersey and the hockey fashionista gets to work on a custom creation.
Munsie uses every available element, uniquely unionizing patches, logos, and ties, in order to stay true to the jersey itself, resulting in fabulous fashion forward designs with edge and attitude.
Her newest work includes a shout out to former Leaf captain, Wendel Clark, adding a classic 17 patch.
“My designs keep evolving and this is my favourite.”
The designer works solo on a first come first serve basis, balancing studies and entrepreneurial endeavors, reserving a night a week and some hours on the weekend for sewing orders.
“Each dress is completely custom-made based on the jersey design, what kind of dress the recipient wants, and made to their exact size,” she explains.
Munsie is the answer for any female fan that has cringed at the sight of a pink jersey. The number of women following and playing hockey has absolutely exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades. Following the inclusion of women’s hockey in the 1998 winter games in Nagano, Japan, hockey saw a spike in both female registration and fandom. The surge revealed a void in a niche market of sports apparel – female NHL fans had little to choose from beyond oversized men’s jerseys.
NHL.com attempted to answer the demand offering limited options tailored to the female physique in colours like pink and champagne. Many third jerseys are still hard to find in female sizing in team colours, highlighting a rocky retail relationship with the fairer fans. Recently, Alyssa Milano’s designs for women came under scrutiny for their impracticality while a laughable $325 bedazzled team purse left many girly game goers wanting.
Still trying to woo female fans, NHL.com released a bikini line to their portfolio. The swimwear, available in actual team colours, has received very positive feedback.
Munsie feels options for female fans are definitely improving.
“They are really coming out with some great stuff that fits better and looks cool. I am still constantly shopping for unique officially licensed merchandise.”
And, as far as pink jerseys go… “I only like the stuff available in team colours, I am not a fan of hockey team clothes that are not team colours.” With this mantra in mind female diehards, unwilling to compromise, flock to JerseyMods.
Munsie’s Little Black Jersey Co.’s facebook page is riddled with rave reviews and photos of designs in action. Both she and her clients don the one-of-a-kind jersey dresses in arenas across the country, attracting some serious attention.
“People think it’s fun and different!”
Little Black Jersey Co.–JerseyMods embodies the contemporary female fan. Pinkpuckers who reserve words like champagne and sparkles to describe New Year’s can now celebrate an alternative way to honour the hockey jersey.