Graphic Design Student is One of 10 Finalists in “Demands of Denim” Scholarship Competition

FIDM Graphic Design Student Sivakumar Swaminathan

FIDM Graphic Design Student Sivakumar Swaminathan

During his studies as a Graphic Design/Branding student at FIDM Sivakumar Swaminathan has been studying how to develop brand identity systems to communicate ideas visually through graphics and typography, but this week his focus will be on an entirely different type of design as a finalist in the “Demands of Denim” Scholarship Competition, sponsored by Cotton, Incorporated.

Sivakumar- also known as Siva around campus- is competing against nine other FIDM student finalists, who are studying everything from fashion design, product development and apparel industry management at FIDM, who were all challenged to create original denim designs (in a product of their choice), with unique finishing techniques for an opportunity to earn either a $7,000 or a $3,000 scholarship.

Siva decided to enter the “Demands of Denim” Scholarship Competition to exercise both his skills as a graphic designer and fashion designer. His proposed menswear denim pants incorporates a unique surface treatment using a bleaching agent called hydrochlorite in a repeated square dot pattern to create a grunge-like appearance. “Graphic design helped me a lot in doing the layout design which enhanced the [overall presentation] of my project,” he says.

Tear sheet of Sivakumar Swaminathan's proposed denim menswear denim

Tear sheet of Sivakumar Swaminathan’s proposed denim menswear denim

As a finalist, Siva will be traveling to Cary, North Carolina this week to attend hands-on denim labs and visit the Cotton, Incorporated headquarters. He and fellow finalists will also develop their proposed denim products into actual samples to present to a panel of judges on October 21. Siva says he feels honored to have been selected as one of the top 10 finalists. “It’s not a question of wining or losing, it’s about getting selected for finals,” he says. “It makes me excited to be a part of a larger team, and to get experience to carry on [to apply] towards my career.”

Originally from Chennai, a town in Southern India, there’s no doubt that Siva’s diverse background in the apparel industry has helped him to excel in the competition– he has worked for leading brands such as Gap, Diesel and Victoria’s Secret in product development and also earned a degree in Knitwear Design and Technology at the National Institute of Fashion & Technology in India.

Client board collage by Sivakumar Swaminathan

Client board collage by Sivakumar Swaminathan

“In India, I did fashion design and product development,” he says. “I was doing research on the courses to enhance my design skills and I thought graphic design would suit my career ambitions.” These ambitions include opening his own design studio to offer not only graphic design, but product development as well, and to approach leading apparel industry buyers such as Gap, Wal-Mart and Fruit of the Loom, he says. With the combination of skills he’s learned thus far at FIDM, hopefully his participation in the “Demands of Denim” Scholarship Competition is taking him one step closer to his goals.

Congratulations, Siva!

For more information, visit the Fruit of the Loom website.

graphic-design-branding-rocketStart college and kickstart your career in graphic design.

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising isn’t just a recognized leader in the study of design and creative business– we’re a training ground for the exciting career in graphic design you’ve always dreamed of pursuing. No other graphic design program has the same unique focus on the fashion and entertainment industries, teaching creative expression in all aspects of print media, logo development, corporate identity, product branding, packaging, apparel graphics and more.


FIDM: Creative Careers Begin Here

Creative careers begin here.

With four California campuses located in the heart of the fashion and entertainment industries, FIDM is a leading, accredited college offering specialized Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. FIDM has been educating students with creative and leadership skills for the global industries of fashion, visual arts, interior design, and entertainment for more than 45 years. Learn more at

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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