Rice junior designs hoodies with a message: Relax

Lazy days are a big mood at Rice

Sometimes you just need a hug. Or to cuddle up with something warm and cozy while you take a break. Or to be comfortable talking about such things, especially in an academic environment as rigorous as Rice.

MOO.D (pronounced “moody”) is a new line of sweatshirts created by Duncan College junior Elhadji “L” Diop.

MOO.D (pronounced “moody”) is a new line of sweatshirts created by Duncan College junior Elhadji “L” Diop, seen here in the beige model.

Enter MOO.D (pronounced “moody”), a new line of sweatshirts created by Duncan College junior Elhadji “L” Diop.

The first shipment started to sell quickly; you now can see it on students across campus sporting hoodies that come in one of two colors: rose pink or beige.

A triple major in sport management, managerial studies and kinesiology, Diop designed the clothing himself, from the stitching and embroidering to the ultrasoft fabric inside the oversized sweatshirt, the exaggerated depth of the front pocket and the structured way the hood falls.

Each piece bears the MOO.D logo, designed by Wiess College junior Raquel Marroquin, and the word “lazy” sewn across one sleeve.

Over the last year, Diop made repeated trips to local garment manufacturers, even calling upon his Korean skills when language barriers cropped up, learning about clothing production as he went. Finally, the first round of MOO.D sweatshirts was released in January. It’s a line Diop calls “the lazy line.”

“I just want people to start accepting that it’s OK to be lazy sometimes,” Diop said. “It’s great to have those moments where you allow yourself to take a break.”

Diop designed the hoodies from the ground up in his first solo fashion venture.

Diop designed the hoodies, seen here on Miss Korea 2016 Jasmine Cho, from the ground up in his first solo fashion venture.

Rice students are renowned for their intense commitment to their studies, often multi-majoring while also somehow finding time for internships, volunteer work and participation in clubs and social organizations on campus.

Indulging in true downtime can help prevent burnout.

“Like watching Netflix for 12 hours, that’s great,” Diop said. “Binging a series or just lying in your bed and looking at the ceiling, comatose — that can be a beautiful sensation.”

But, he said, we often wrongly feel guilty that we need to have “lazy” times. And guilt doesn’t help anyone.

“Generally speaking, our culture does not promote sitting still, and that can have wide-reaching consequences for our mental health, well-being, productivity and other areas of our lives,” wrote Olga Mecking in the New York Times last year in an article appropriately headlined “The Case for Doing Nothing.”

Diop said this idea is gaining resonance with college students, who he hopes will continue embracing not only the need for restorative downtime, but also the need to discuss it openly.

“I just want people to start accepting that it's OK to be lazy sometimes,” Diop said. “It's great to have those moments where you allow yourself to take a break.”

“I just want people to start accepting that it’s OK to be lazy sometimes,” Diop said. “It’s great to have those moments where you allow yourself to take a break.”

This isn’t the first fashion line Diop has helped design; he founded a cooperative his freshman year with seven other students across the U.S. that sold premade clothing printed with their own designs.

But MOO.D is the first clothing venture Diop has pursued solo, from the ground up, an endeavor he attributed in part to his entrepreneurial-oriented courses and internships at Rice.

It’s been thrilling, he said, to see his hoodies within the hedges. But seeing his work manifested and now modeled across Rice students’ Instagram accounts isn’t the only reason he’s satisfied. It’s also about the idea that people aren’t afraid to embrace their much-needed lazy days.

“When you spend so much time designing and trying to get your message out, to see people wear it in public is crazy,” Diop said. “I hope the message resonates with people whether they buy a hoodie, share a hoodie or talk to somebody and have a conversation about this.

“Or if it’s just a nice hoodie to wear that’s soft and comfortable,” Diop said, “that’s just as great.”

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.