How A Former Ohio State Bro Started A Performance Apparel Company That’s Tested Better Than Nike And Under Armour
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve never heard of Sivil. But if you like to get sweaty on the field or in the gym, this performance apparel start-up should absolutely be on your radar. Sivil is the brainchild of two Ohio-born, Washington D.C.-based brothers and life-long athletes, Will and Vince Simon. They’ve developed a line that they proclaim is “the most functional and technologically advanced performance shirt ever developed” thanks to “a patented CoolCore fabric.” Here’s how it works, in Sivil’s own words from their first Kickstarter campaign:
As your body heats up during strenuous activity, it produces sweat to cool you down in order for the body to reach a more comfortable state. The patented CoolCore fabric derives its cooling function from its construction, which comprises within a single layer, a multiplicity of fibers that create a capillary system, wicking away moisture from the skin, circulating the moisture throughout the entire garment, and regulating the rate of evaporation before releasing the molecules into the atmosphere. The fibers, coupled with the proprietary fabric construction, provide maximum cooling capability keeping you up to 30% cooler than any Nike, Under Armour or Adidas shirt out there. Guaranteed.
Here’s what the fabric looks like up-close:
I know what you’re thinking right now. A guarantee for a fabric that keeps you 30% cooler than fabrics produced by muti-billion dollar companies like Nike and Under Armour sounds nuts. Insane, really. It’s a bold claim; After all, those companies have some of the best Research and Development departments in the world for athletic performance. But Sivil stands by it, actually testing this claim at Germany’s Hohenstein Institute, via Kickstarter:
Our CoolCore powered fabric has been up against every leading sportswear brand in the world at the legendary Hohenstein Institute in Germany. In every instance, our shirts outperformed every major brand in cooling power, drying power, and wet cling/comfort testing. We may not be Nike or Under Armour yet, but we can guarantee that you’ll get a shirt that will keep you cooler, drier, and more comfortable than any other.
One of Sivil’s founding brothers, Will Simon, is a former walk-on at Ohio State. I recently talked to him about Ohio State, why he wanted to start his own athletic performance brand, and how Sivil’s patented technology could pose a major threat to other major players in the performance apparel space.
You played football at Ohio State, right Will? Can you start by telling us a little bit about that?
I was just fast enough to earn a walk-on spot and while I didn’t see much playing time, the experiences were unbelievable. Being part of one of the greatest collegiate athletic programs in history was a true honor. I made some amazing friends while being part of the program who are still in the NFL today and it’s crazy to see guys you were drinking out of solo cups with now playing on Sundays.
What coach did you play under?
I was actually there under Coach Tressel. The guy got a bad rap at the end of his tenure there, but people rarely talk about what a brilliant mentor he was. He had an extremely high graduation rate among players and was a true father figure to those who played for him both at Ohio State and at Youngstown State.
When you were in college, what did you want to do for a career after college?
I wanted to work in the intelligence community (CIA, FBI, etc.) I can’t say whether or not that happened or not, but I did move to DC after college and work in the defense industry and private sector lobbying before venturing out and starting Sivil.