Professor and NYC Design Factory director Andreea Cotoranu is teaching students how to solve tomorrow’s problems. In partnership with major corporations and international collaborators, students have pitched ideas like noise-absorbing drones, massive-scale food cooling systems, and a modern take on teen furniture design.
Seven days is all we need. Maybe you’ve seen these words around campus, maybe you haven’t, but we’re pretty sure you will. In a big way.
Launched by Sports Marketing major Eli Simmons Jr. ‘21, SVNCLO is a brand for everybody. Taking its moniker from Eli’s idea that seven days is all we need to make a dream come true, he brought SVNCLO to life through fresh designs infused with a sense of nostalgia and some help from his community in Pleasantville.
“When I think of the number seven or seven days, I think about how God created the earth in seven days,” explains Eli. “So, that played a part into “SDiAWN 1,” or Seven Days is All We Need, which happens to be my first collection.”
SVNCLO, which follows a streetwear model of new periodic design drops, has been steadily growing. For Eli, his favorite design is ‘Wire Time,’ a graphic introspective representation of a time in his life when he was finding himself through his talents. “I thought about how each element [of the design] referred to this moment in my life,” he says. “The desert represented this feeling of being alone and to myself; the barbed wire displayed how I can sometimes trap myself in my thoughts; the fire was me breaking through both of these elements in this new stage of my life, aka the square.”
For Eli however, it’s about a lot more than the clothes. Over the summer, he was able to combine his passion for design with advocacy and social justice. He created a line of tees aimed at raising awareness around police brutality and the communities it impacts, including our own. All the proceeds earned from the sale of those shirts was donated to the DJ Henry Dream Fund, the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, Reclaim the Block, and the Run with Maud campaign.
“I decided to create shirts that said, ‘For Seven days We Won't Forget You.’ To me, this meant that for all of the individuals who were brutally mistreated by police—whether that be during police stops, within jails, during protests, or within their own communities—we would never forget their names and importance to the BLM movement.”
When students returned to campus in the fall, members of the Pace Community, led in large part by student athletes, came together to raise their voices against racial injustice and police brutality. INearly 100 students marched from the Pleasantville Campus to Thornwood, NY, where Pace student and football player Danroy “DJ” Henry was killed by police in 2010.The march made a strong impression on Eli.
“The Pleasantville march for DJ Henry was an amazing way to feel connected to my peers and see how we were able to come together as a community to support the same cause,” says Eli. “Overall, it was definitely a good moment for Pace.”
On top of running his own brand, Eli is also heavily connected to campus life. He serves as the Senator of Pace’s Black Student Union in Pleasantville, played on the Pace Football team, and volunteers with the Pace Mobile Food Pantry.
“With being involved in these clubs and organizations, I am able to find other creatives who are willing to help me in creating my visions when I am in the process of releasing a new collection for SVNCLO. I believe that having students participate, brings awareness to the brand in general,” he says. In addition to wearing his clothing line, other Pace students get in on the action by modeling for SVNCLO, using Pace’s Pleasantville Campus as the backdrop.
“Initially when I started having students wear my brand on campus, I realized it brought a lot of brand recognition to their friends and over time it grew to the whole campus,” he says. “It was an amazing feeling to see all of the support around me and people wearing my brand for all seven days of the week.”