The countdown is on for the Launch Party for Dayton Fashion Week! Join us September 16th-18th for the 6th Annual A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance. Invitation Requests will be available July 13th.
Inspired by fashion weeks in New York, Paris, and Milan; Dayton Fashion Week is a Fashion Incubator designed to develop, build, and connect fashion professionals, participants, and invited guest alike in a fully immersive fashion experience centered around fashion talent, media, and event production.
Our vision is to celebrate Dayton as not only the Birthplace of Aviation and Hub of Innovation but to stake our claim as the Fashion Capital of the Midwest 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 in the form of business resources, education, advocacy, and advancement.
Our core values include excellence; diversity in people and of ideas; inclusion; access and affordability; innovation; collaboration and interdisciplinary endeavor; integrity; transparency, and trust.
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 and our sister company the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC.
Dayton Fashion Week is a Fashion Incubator that focuses on:
1) Developing Fashion Designers
2) Helping them to build their teams and brands
3) Connecting them with like minded individuals who are seeking careers in the media and/or event production while helping them all grow together.
The Official Dayton Fashion Week Launch Party is scheduled during the 6th Annual A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance on Saturday, September 17th, 2022 and is an Invite Only Experience. Invitation requests are available starting July 13th.
Whether you're headlining a (DE-FI) powered experience or producing your own. Dayton Fashion Week will be a well tailored experience for everyone from your fashion enthusiast to your curious observer.
Headlining Designers will:
Interested in attending the Dayton Fashion Week Launch Party and kick start your career in fashion? Our 2022-2023 season is shaping up to be one of our biggest seasons to date! With prep work going into the Fashion Institute of Ohio, gearing up for CFDA Connects 2.0, and the relaunch of the House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience and Dayton Threads; it is imperative that we are being very intentional with our audience and the attendees of our various fashion experiences 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. We are adopting an invite-only format for the majority of our experiences this season, tickets will only be available for purchase to those individuals who are invited. Invitation request will be made available on July 13th.
We are (DE-FI)ng Fashion Week! With a different Fashion Show popping up every week that garners applause as models sashay up and down the runway, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of lights, camera’s and action BUT the fashion show is just the tip of the iceberg and only makes up 5% of the Fashion Industry. Dayton Fashion Week: The Teaser is bringing you the other 95% and then some in an immersive hands on opportunity. The (DE-FI) Fashion Week Experience is set to take flight again for the first time since March 2017. Are you ready to tour the fashion industry and explore the various careers that encompass it?
Destination #1 Designers Workshop for Beginners Our first stop is designed for newbies to the world of Fashion who are looking to become designers or garment makers but don’t have the sewing skills needed for garment construction.
Destination #2 Rumor Has It that our official non-profit for our 2022-2023 season Ellie's Rainy Day Fund is hosting their first ever pet fashion show with a Halloween theme on October 1. If you already have sewing skills, here's your chance to spend the day with us and make your 4 legged bestie the best costume EVER to showcase on the catwalk.
Destination #3 Knits Only Sewing Our second stop takes your sewing skills to the next level in this introductory how-to’s of basic knit clothing construction, fitting, and a final project using an approved commercial pattern.
Destination #4 Fabric Fest So, now you can sew and you have 20/20 vision focused on your line, but what do you know about other fabrics, better yet, do you know where they come from or how they are processed? Sounds like the perfect opportunity for some hands on action with a local sheep farmer who raises her sheep, processes the wool, spins, and knits it, and so much more! .
Destination #5 Model Bootcamp Whether you are seeking modeling as a career or if it's just a hobby, this tour stop is for you! It takes more than a pretty face and a killer walk to become a part of our #FashionExperience. You have to be equipped with the skills to bring the designers vision to life! Dayton Fashion Week celebrates beauty in all forms, there are no height or size restrictions and is open to models ages 12 and better. Participants will be equipped with the following skills and knowledge:
Destination #6 The Writers Workshop. Journalistic, technical, persuasive, grant, and creative; the list goes on and on in terms of writing to support creative entrepreneurs and creative business needs! Which means the fashion industry needs writers from diverse disciplines to make things happen. Learn writing techniques to create narratives then spend time mixing, mingling, and interviewing the diverse talent that will be in attendance.
Destination #7 The Business of Fashion. So, the first 4 Destinations have been geared mostly towards the design aspect of fashion but did you know that the top 10 paying jobs in fashion pay between $64,516-$136,685 and deal more with the corporate side of the industry and makeup the other 95% of the fashion industry that is behind the scenes? The next stop on our Fashion Industry Tour is the Business of Fashion Seminar, hear from industry experts from both the corporate and creative sides. Hear designer pitches and learn about the various careers that you can lead in the fashion industry, even if you "don't do fashion" as well as learn about exciting new opportunities to launch your career with (DE-FI) Global INC and the Fashion Institute of Ohio.
Destination #8 Pop Up Shop and Clothing Swap It’s time to purchase some souvenirs by supporting independent Designers during the Dayton Fashion Week Pop-Up Shop and Clothing Swap. Purchase samples, place a custom order directly from the designer at our Pop-Up Shop OR clean out that closet just to fill it back up again!
Do you have any clothes or accessories that you absolutely love but just may not wear anymore? We certainly do and we're sure that you do too! Bring those gently used garments and accessories over to the Dayton Fashion Week Clothing Swap! SHOP FOR FREE…yes we said FREE. Participants can search through items dropped off by other fashionista’s and fashionisto’s to replace the items you are trading in. Unclaimed items will be donated to a local community outreach initiative.
Destination #9 So you've got your network on, some hands on experience, and now it's time to interview for your spot in the Designer Incubator for a chance to headline the 2023 Dayton Fashion Week. Learn more about our Designer Incubator below and apply HERE to get your interview scheduled, the deadline for applications is September 1, open to aspiring designers ages 6 & better, no experience required.
It's easy to get self-absorbed when it comes to fashion — after all, for many, the industry is all about the clothes we put on our own bodies, however, (DE-FI) has been committed to playing an active and vital role in the revitalization, continuous growth, and development of the Dayton area with a focus on serving the under-served communities since our launch in 2013. Whether it's addressing hunger, poverty, addiction, self worth, education and more Community Outreach and giving back is always in style with us.
There are so many amazing people, businesses, and organizations that are doing some wonderful things in the community, unfortunately they may not all get the attention, support, and funding that they need to reach their goals! So what are these good natured individuals to do? Well, in the words of Jay-Z, "Allow us to re-introduce ourselves..." After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, Fashion, Mission, Mingle returned in July 2021 with yet another signature experience. We have helped raise over $15,000 for local organizations, and we are just getting started! We merged entrepreneurship, fashion, networking, small business support, shared experiences, encouragement, and giving back into one amazing community celebration.
During the 2022 Fashion, Mission, Mingle, we will introduce the designers selected to Shoot Their Shot to join our Fashion Incubator for an opportunity to headline the 2023 Dayton Fashion Week Experience. There will also be a fashion, networking with other industry professionals, all while supporting a local grassroots effort and raising funds for Ellie's Rainy Day Fund and the Art of (DE-FI)ance Fashion Fund.
In this country, over 500,000 furry family members a year are euthanized because their people can’t afford treatment. Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund keeps families together by saving their pets’ lives. We enable supporters to preserve the deep love shared between human and animal family members by funding emergency and specialty veterinary services for vulnerable families facing financial challenges. We are one of the few nonprofits in the country that funds this costly level of lifesaving care. Types of families helped often include our most vulnerable citizens, including: elderly people living alone with only their companion animals, mentally challenged individuals, families with autistic or disabled kids, folks struggling with severe illnesses and people with conditions including PSTD, anxiety attacks, depression, etc.
No one should be forced to surrender or euthanize a member of their family due to inability to pay. In the last six years, Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund has spent over $600,000 making sure that for 355 families mostly in Montgomery and Greene Counties, that didn’t happen.
Are you ready to remove barriers, erase doubt, tear down walls, kick open kept gates, (DE-FI) stereotypes, and burst glass ceilings? 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.
Our Fashion Incubator workshops range in topics from team building, artistic sessions including sewing to pattern making, garment construction, and more. Our programming also includes media training, building your brand strategies, sourcing, and etc. We will not waste your time with details that you can Google like how to create a business plan or cost analysis, there are free templates all over the internet.
Open to aspiring, emerging and established designers. This opportunity is open to individuals ages 6 & better, and consists of four Peer Groups:
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Jr. ages 6-11
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Sr. ages 12-17
Designer Talk I ages 18-26
Designer Talk II, ages 27 & better.
These peer groups were 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.
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 A Generation of Designers and Designer Talk I.
Designers need 4 things:
1) A strong support system
2) Access to resources
3) To be around other designers
4)To be around people in the same boat as them to keep each other motivated and growing.
Those who come to us in their late teens/mid-twenties tend to not have as many responsibilities and can navigate the incubator experience with less barriers in their pathway to success. There will be times when the peer groups will blend because that's the reality of the world, it's diverse.
Designer Talk Series-
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.
The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experiences makes its return during Dayton Fashion Week and offers a series of intensive Designer Talk Series modules, team building, production, editorial, retail experiences via Dayton Threads Showroom & Online Boutique, and more. Our programming provides elements designed to help you thrive and grow at every phase of your career. We don't sell the glitz and glamour of the industry, we provide a realistic look and approach to achieving your dreams by focusing on the other 95% of the industry...the business. We are one of a few organizations dedicated to the development of fashion entrepreneurs.
Whether you are an aspiring or emerging designer, you'll have the unique opportunity to strengthen your creative, entrepreneurial, and business skills in a real time curriculum taught by industry professionals with resources and support from the Council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA Connects program.
As a founding member of the CFDA Connects Program, not only will participants in our Designer Talk Series benefit from receiving business support, promotion,resources, and exclusive access to perks, and privileges such as professional development, Master's Classes, NYFW Runway 360 and more. We're making sure that fashion talent in our region also benefit from this newly developed infrastructure for fashion creatives and fashion business. #RumorHasIt we are working on developing the Gem City's first Fashion Design Certificate and Degree program, the Fashion Institute of Ohio .
Our team is dedicated to providing resources, education, and professional development to designers to help sustain and strengthen Dayton's fashion community while enhancing and supporting a thriving apparel and sewn products industry in the Midwest
A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Fashion is an immersive Fashion Experience that introduces the creative and business side of the fashion industry and gives participants real-world application opportunities. Participants will have an opportunity to:
By the end of the experience, campers 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:
Dayton Fashion Week powered by (DE-FI). (DE-FI) Global INC-CFDA Connects.
We offer 2 flexible options to participate in our Designer Talk and A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Series:
The Virtual Option includes:
The Hybrid Option includes everything in VIRTUAL PLUS:
Applications are now being accepted for aspiring and emerging designers to join our Fashion incubators. Apply today for the Designer Talk Series or A Generation of (DE-FI)ance!
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