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Love it or Leaf it: Toronto teams up with Justin Bieber for new jerseys

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will debut their Next Gen uniform on Wednesday that was created in collaboration with Canadian pop icon Justin Bieber.

The first reversible sweater in North American pro sports was designed in partnership with Adidas and the NHL. It features the primary crest with a shibori-inspired print and the Toronto skyline woven into the bands on the arms of the sweater and the uniform’s socks.

The reversible version features a “drew house” — Bieber’s brand — inspired version with gold trim, with elements of the drew house motif inside the classic Leafs logo.

“My love for the Maple Leafs has always been a big part of who I am, and my passion for the team, and the passion of millions of fans, is stitched into this Next Gen sweater,” Bieber said in a release. “I’m grateful to the Leafs for the chance to team up again to create something so authentic for the team and its fans.”

Wednesday’s Next Gen game is part of an annual team event established in 2017.

“We are excited to be able to take Next Gen to another level with this special uniform designed with our next generation in mind,” said Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan.

“The opportunity to collaborate with Justin and drew house to create such a unique alternate sweater will make it even more special for our fans and the team.”

The Next Gen games debuted in 2017 as a celebration of youth in the community to unite fans of all ages through the team and the game of hockey. The annual event features family-friendly programming and sees youth participating in several areas of the game’s operation including team introductions, in-game entertainment and broadcasting.

Ryan Good, the creative director and co-founder of drew house, called the chance to partner with the Leafs “a dream come true.”

“Our lifestyle collaboration with the Leafs last fall was very popular and we couldn’t be more excited to literally make history with this sweater for the team we love,” Good said.

The Next Gen sweater is made from materials containing a minimum of 50 per cent recycled content. Adidas Hockey’s ADIZERO Primegreen Authentic NHL sweaters were unveiled for all 32 teams this season.

The Next Gen uniform becomes the 15th alternate uniform worn by the Maple Leafs in club history.

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