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#TheEvolutionOfDEFI continues with the unapologetic capstone, Dayton Fashion Week.
Building on the legacy of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator who has long been recognized for their commitment to fostering the growth and development of fashion based talent; Dayton Fashion Week now serves as the Fashion Incubator.
Dayton Fashion Week's incubator is a highly competitive concept to completion, fashion retail, and fashion industry ready development program. Only selecting high potential applicants, Dayton Fashion Week provides the tools needed to succeed and sustain growth through one-on-one education, access, and opportunities.
If you’re an aspiring or emerging fashion professional in the early startup phase that's looking for meaningful, experiential, and intentional opportunities, as well as courses, tools, and resources to grow your fashion brand, then Dayton Fashion Week's Incubator platform is for you!
We are here to help you achieve your goals, however, before you apply, you also have to understand that, like everything else in life, success in the fashion industry:
1) IS HARD WORK
2) REQUIRES LONG HOURS
3) IS NOT FUN! (Yes, it has its moments, typically after an event/project is over and you can finally relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, but that break is always short lived.)
4) IS NOT GLAMOROUS (Again, yes, it has its moments, but it's only about 5% of the industry.)
5) IS COMPETITIVE (Resources are limited, only the best of the best receive those resources. If you want to be the best, you'll need a competitive edge.)
6) IS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
7) A CONSTANT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
8) WILL MAKE YOU CRY
9) WILL MAKE YOU DOUBT YOURSELF
10) IS A BUSINESS (...and a rewarding one at that.)
Led by a volunteer team of experienced fashion industry professionals, business owners, and event planning specialists; Dayton Fashion Week was acquired in 2016 by CFDA Connects co-founding member the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC.
Dayton Fashion Week's Incubator focuses on:
We are very intentional with our audience and the attendees of our various fashion experiences. The majority of our events are intimate and invite only to ensure that aspiring and emerging talent who are genuinely interested in seeking a career in fashion are not lost amongst those who attend fashion events for entertainment purposes only.
Event passes and registration will only be available to those individuals who are invited. Invitation request are now available HERE. (Please Note: That being a casual observer or an enthusiastic supporter of fashion events does not eliminate you from consideration in receiving an invite. Depending on the goals of the event, access will be made available on a first come first serve basis. Request your Invite today.)
Inspired by fashion weeks in New York, Paris, and Milan; Dayton Fashion Week is a Fashion Incubator designed to develop, build, and connect aspiring and emerging fashion professionals, participants, and invited guest alike in fully hands on and engaging fashion opportunities centered around fashion based talent, media, and event production.
Our vision is to celebrate Dayton and Southwest Ohio as the Birthplace of Aviation, Hub of Innovation, as well as staking our claim as the Fashion Capital for the development and success of fashion based talent and garment manufacturing.
It is the mission of Dayton Fashion Week's Fashion Incubator to provide support to independent fashion designers and fashion based talent in the form of business resources, education, advocacy, advancement, and opportunities.
Our core values include excellence; diversity in people and of ideas; inclusion; access and affordability; innovation; collaboration; interdisciplinary endeavor; integrity; transparency, and trust.
Fashion Designers and Fashion Professionals need 4 things:
Got questions? We've got answers, check out some FAQ.
Whether you're headlining a (DE-FI) powered experience or producing your own. Dayton Fashion Week's Incubator is a well-tailored opportunity for those seeking careers as a fashion designer and has two categories:
2) A Generation of (DE-FI)ance
Applications are accepted once per year for the Designer Incubator, the application period for the 2023 Class of Designers is October 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022.
Designers in our Fashion Incubator will:
Dayton Fashion Week's Incubator is not just for designers, it's also for photographers, models, business professionals, makeup artists, pattern makers, stylists, illustrators, videographers, fashion show producers, writers, sewists, tailors, bespoke, textile makers, and more.
Team and brand building are the keys to success for the designers in our incubator; the Associate Incubator members are all needed as a part of the process. Applications are accepted and reviewed year round. Membership Applications now available HERE.
The Associate Incubator member's benefits includes:
Open to aspiring, emerging and established designers, the Designer Talk Series is open to individuals ages 18 & better, and consists of two Peer Groups:
Designer Talk I ages 18-26
Designer Talk II, ages 27 & better
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Fashion is a hands-on Fashion opportunity that introduces the creative and business side of the fashion industry and gives participants real-world application opportunities and consists of two Peer Groups:
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Jr. ages 6-11
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Sr. ages 12-17
The Designer Talk Series
The need for the two different Designer Talk peer groups is simple. The vast majority of the designers that come to us are in their mid-30's and better, it's their second chance at pursuing their dreams. With that comes a lot of doubt and uncertainty because now they have full time careers/jobs, families to support, mortgages, etc. which makes it really hard for most to give up the security of a guaranteed check from your regular 9-5/career resulting in designers in the Designer Talk II age ranges to move differently and at a different pace in the incubator than those in Designer Talk I.
What sets our fashion incubator a part from others is that our program has proven results that supports and nurtures aspiring, emerging, and established fashion designers and their brands from the start, through rapid growth, and eventual exit of the incubator by providing resources, work space, mentoring, and workshops to help grow your careers in fashion.
Aspiring, emerging, and established designers you have the unique opportunity to strengthen your business skills in a real time curriculum taught by industry professionals! With a focus on business skills that range from business planning, marketing plans, cut & sew, retail math and social media. Our Designer Talk Series also has real time fashion challenges wrapped throughout the curriculum. Our team is dedicated to providing resources, education and professional development to the fashion community that will enhance and support a thriving and sustainable apparel and sewn products industry in the Midwest via Dayton Threads and Dayton Fashion Week.
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance
This peer group was developed because our biggest success stories started with us when they were about 14 or 15 years old. When we held our first kids fashion camp, the campers ranged from ages 7-17; while they got along just fine, the kids in the 7-10 range would at times burst into Barney sing-a-longs and the older kids...while they didn't say anything, we saw a need to separate the groups at certain points to keep the creative juices flowing and growing while allowing the younger kids to be kids.
Participants will have an opportunity to:
By the end of the experience, participants will have an understanding of the various aspects of the fashion industry including event planning, fashion design and styling, graphic design, modeling, photography, project management, and writing. They will be empowered and equipped with the tools needed to take them to the next level.
Open to students ages 6-17, our youth incubator taps into your youth's natural desire to express themselves through clothing in a fun and stimulating environment that encourages creative visioning and self-expression. This experience will allow your child to explore the various careers that the fashion industry has to offer in 3 modules:
1) Creative for those interested in becoming fashion designers.
2) The Business of Fashion for those interested in law, marketing, journalism, business management, etc.
3) Production for those interested set design, photography, event planning, etc.
Your child will:
The Designer Talk Series and A Generation of (DE-FI)ance are a monthly hybrid experience that includes:
Due to financial hardships, we have several participants in our incubators who are unable to afford the cost of the services that we offer. We never turn anyone away due to their inability to pay. Your support and contributions to The Art of (DE-FI)ance Fashion Fund allows us to keep our services affordable and provide hardship grants to participants in need.
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The Build-A-Brand Experience is back and we are looking for speakers to help our talent and fashion based businesses Reverse Engineer their brands. No fashion experience is needed to lead this signature series…business is business regardless of the discipline. We are looking for speakers that specialize in the following: