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