Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Led by a volunteer team of experienced fashion industry professionals, business owners, and event planning specialists Dayton Fashion Week's Designer Incubator and The Cincinnati Fashion 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, Cincinnati, 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 Designers Incubator and The Cincinnati 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 Signature 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 The Designer Talk Series and A Generation of (DE-FI)ance
Applications are accepted once per year for the Designer Incubator, the application period for the 2024 Class of Designers will begin July 14th., 2024 and will end October 12th, 2024.
Designers in our Fashion Incubator will:
Our Incubators are 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: The Shows and Fashion Week of Cincinnati.
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:
Are you ready to launch your career in fashion with the Dayton Fashion Week Designer Incubator and The Cincinnati Fashion Incubator? If you are planning to apply for our incubators then attending and participating in (DE-FI) Fashion Week is required. We are (DE-FI)ng Fashion Week and for the first time since March 2017, the (DE-FI) Fashion Week Experience is set to take flight again. Come tour the fashion industry and explore the various careers that it encompasses July 12th-14th, 2024.
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; what happens next? (DE-FI) Fashion Week is here to fill in the gap and bring you the other 95% with immersive, educational, hands on opportunities to explore and launch your career in Fashion. It's imperative that applicants to our incubators have a clear understanding of the skills, knowledge, and people that is needed to succeed in the fashion industry; (DE-FI) Fashion Week is the cornerstone of the foundation that will be laid throughout both incubator experiences. At the conclusion of (DE-FI) Fashion Week, confirmed attendees will be sent the password to complete the application to join our incubators.
We celebrate beauty and talent in all forms and provide opportunities for aspiring models, designers, photographers, writers, producers and more regardless of ability, age, height, weight, size, gender identification, religion, ethnicity, or sexuality. We ensure that you are equipped with the tools, skills, resources, knowledge, access, and opportunities needed to achieve your dreams and goals in the fashion industry.
(DE-FI) Fashion Week kicks of on Friday, July 12th with Modelpalooza Sand Volleyball Tournament. Grab your squad and get ready to Bump, Set, and Spike for a little fun competition networking experience as only (DE-FI) can produce! We are bringing a media, retail, creatives, fashion, community outreach organizations and more together for a battle that will consists of a bracket-style round robin format where teams compete against one another ultimately resulting in a winner with bragging rights. Grab your squad or sign up by yourself for this coed sand volleyball experience!
On Saturday, July 13th, spend the 2 day touring the Fashion Industry with our hands on and immersive workshops.
Day 1 Tour Stops will focus on garment construction and the art of telling a story through fashion. Tour stops include:
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 or the introductory of how to's of the basics of knit clothing construction, fitting, and a final project using an approved commercial pattern.
Destination #2 The 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 #3 The 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.
Destination #4 Hair and Makeup. Explore how to plan hair and makeup for your editorial and runway showcases by blending artistry and expertise budding beauty enthusiast. This is a unique opportunity to delve into the world of beauty, exploring the latest trends, techniques, and products with instructors who are not only experts in their craft but also passionate about sharing their knowledge and empowering others to unlock their creativity.
Destination #5 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
Day 2 tours will focus on the business and production end of the fashion industry, tour stops include
Destination #6 The Idea. So you have the idea, the vision, and the drive to launch your career in fashion, now what? This tour stop is designed to help you develop your ideas, business name, and logo. We will also walk you through how to register your company and apply for trademarks. Last but not least you will learn how to navigate the ever growing and changing world of social media, hashtags, email list, newslettes, websites and SEO,
Destination #7 Runway and Event Production Nope, you don't just wake up in the morning and decided to put on a show the next day, it takes some significant planning anywhere from 6 months to a year to pull off a quality event. This workshop will help you select your venue, develop and schedule your event with guidelines, create a budget and stay on budget. Determine when to have Casting Calls, Fittings, and who to help style your models, and your hair and makeup looks. You will also learn the importance of having a good production team, how to scout Ambassadors & Interns. Develop event logistics, contracts and vendors. You will also learn about insurance, permits, event ticketing (including complimentary and special guest), invitations, Guest Services, VIP sections and seating.
Destination #8 The Devil's in the Details. during this workshop, you will learn how to take your standard fashion show and turn it into an unforgettable Fashion Experience with the following often overlooked items:
Event Filming & Photography
Destination #9 The Business of Fashion. So, the first 8 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 hear from Designers currently in our incubators as well as our incubator alum while learn about exciting new opportunities to launch your career with (DE-FI) Global INC and the Fashion Institute of Ohio.
Destination #10 Marketing Now that you've experienced every piece of the puzzle, it's time to put it all together and market your brand and/or event. The final stop on our industry tour will cover partnerships media kit development, sponsorship media kit development, sponsorship director, ad campaigns, marketing/promotions, public relations, press releases, TV presentations, Talent & Celebrities Invitation.
Our 2024 season is shaping up to be one of our biggest seasons to date making it imperative that we are very intentional with our audience and the attendees. Our goal is 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 have adopted 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.
A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance gives attendees a sneak peek at Dayton Fashion Week's Runway Collections and and opportunity to meet the applicants for the 2025 Class of Dayton and Cincinnati's Fashion Incubator?
The Dayton Fashion Week Designer Incubator 2023 Class Class officially kicked off on March 4, 2023 and has 7 Stages:
Stage 1: Foundation Building, March 4th 2023 - March 7th, 2024
Stage 2: Team Building, March 8th - June 5th, 2024
Stage 3: Strategic Planning, June 6th - September 3rd, 2024
Stage 4: Behind The Seams, September 4th - December 3rd, 2024
Stage 5: The Blitz, December 4th,2024 - March 3rd, 2025
Stage 6: The Collections, March 21st-23rd, 2025
Stage 7: Continued Professional Development and Career Support System March 5th, 2025 - Until
After completing the first 4 of 7 stages, the designers will pitch their brands for an opportunity to headline the Dayton Fashion Week: The Collections showcase. Applicants who attended (DE-FI) Fashion Week will also Shoot Their Shot to join the 2025 class for both the Dayton Fashion Week Designer Incubator and The Cincinnati's Fashion Incubator.
Tentatively scheduled for December 6th-8th, 2024, A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance festivities will kickoff on Friday, December 6th with a curated evening of business crawls, shopping, Happy Hour, Networking, giving, and of course fashion during Fashion Night Out!
On Saturday, December 7th, The 937 Street Style Festival is back! This is your day to indulge in fun and fashionable moments a galore, including:
On Sunday, December 8th, we'll close out A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance with an exclusive Business Club Brunch.
The Runway Collections are the capstone of the Fashion Incubator Experience. In a weekend full of supporting emerging designers and local small businesses, community outreach initiatives, networking, education, and fun. Tentatively scheduled for March 21th-23rd, 2025, Dayton Fashion Week kicks off on Friday, March 21st with the return of Fashion, Mission, Mingle.
Fashion, Mission & Mingle will feature presentations and a panel discussion with industry insiders, while supporting, raising both awareness and money for area grassroots effort that are stepping up in major ways by empowering the to bring about positive change.Believe us when we say, you don't want to miss this celebration.
This experience will also feature:
** A Headlining Runway Experience
** Panel Discussions
** Speed Networking: here's your chance to connect with some of the areas established and up and coming fashion professionals and community leaders
** Fashion Plugs Have your 30 second elevator speech ready because this is your chance to plug your fashion business
** Community Outreach Plugs Have your 30 second elevator speech ready because this is your chance to plug your community outreach efforts
On Saturday, March 22nd Art, Wine, and Fashion returns with a headlining Designer from the Dayton Fashion Week Designer Incubator sharing the story of the inspiration behind their line and guide guest through creative exercises designed to help them tell their story via the painting process. We will also have a Chef on hand to help guest to create a customized entree based on their story and prepare a specialty entree on location, complete with a runway presentation. Making this a Fashion Experience like no other!
On the evening of March 22nd A Taste of (DE-FI)ance will feature a headlining designer from our incubator. Fashion has never looked or tasted so good–no there won’t be any Lady Gaga inspired meat dresses making their way down the runway! But The Taste of (DE-FI)ance is inspired by Italian Designer and Chef Anna Marconi’s Taste of Runway. We pair a skilled Chef up with fashion designers to create three course meals that not only compliment the origin of the fabric used in the designs but will also draw on artistic skills by using only ingredients and colors that reflects the design. For example, if the main fabric in being used in a design is Silk, then chances are the Chef will create a Chinese inspired appetizer that looks just like the design on the runway.
On Sunday, March 23rd, well close out Dayton Fashion Week with designer showcases headlined by (DE-FI) Designer Alum.
More details are coming soon.
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: