So what exactly, is the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI)? Well, since going public we’ve been receiving this question quit a lot! For starters we are not a Fashion Week nor are we affiliated with DFW; though there are various aspect of what (DE-FI) will do our main two goals are to be a support system for designers and talent looking to make their mark in the Fashion Industry and to keep the “Made in America” tag on our clothing by reaching out to garment manufacturers to have their lines produced here in Dayton. After all Macy’s is right down the road in Cincinnati and the Limited Brands are in Columbus.
So, exactly how would this Incubator work?
(DE-FI) is working closely with Sew Dayton (Oregon District), Joli Boutique (Centerville), and TIME Magazine recognized Midwest Fashion Week (Indianapolis) to create a unique and affective training program that:
1) Offers mentoring for emerging designers via a series of workshops designed to teach the designers business skills, sharpen sewing skills, and ultimately providing designers a place to sell and showcase their work on a local level.
2) Train and provide seamstresses for the designers in the incubator to help them to produce their lines locally.
3) Provide a forum to profile fashion based talent from across the Midwest whether it’s designers, models, MUA’s, stylist, bloggers, and etc—via our Fashion Blog that will debut in May.
4) Establish professional models for designers to work with! The biggest complaint that I’ve heard from designers and photographers in the lack of professionalism that the models present from the area and that happens for several reasons: 1) area models have never really had the chance to receive real training that didn’t cost them thousands of dollars, 2) There’s currently not a lot of work in the area for models, and 3) Because there isn’t a lot of work in the area models often don’t get paid for their time which all can lead to a lack of professionalism. So (DE-FI) is raising the bar by being the first major fashion event in the area that actually pays their models for the work that they do.
5) A long term goal for (DE-FI) is to take advantage of the City of Dayton’s Activated Spaces Pop Up Shop Program. Like our partners at Sew Dayton and Beaute Box are products of Activated Spaces–In the Spring of 2014 it is the goal of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) to have a store front location in Downtown Dayton that sells local and independent designers from across the Midwest lines in our store.(that have also been produced here locally by those seamstresses that have been trained by (DE-FI).
These are just a few things that (DE-FI) will be doing! One thing that we constantly remind each other of is that this is a new concept for the area; therefore we are taking our time and making sure that everything is planned out, communicated, and executed well. This is learning experience for everyone involved but you can rest assured that we are being realistic with our approach and we are dedicated and committed to following through with these plans. Right now we are planning our Launch Party scheduled to take place on July 13, 2013 at SunWatch Indian Village—We want this event to be an intimate affair; with a theme of “Fashion In the Mystic Garden”, the night will consist of mixing and mingling with some of the area’s top professionals, complete with New York Fashion Week style show, and dancing under the moonlight in the majestic setting of SunWatch. For more information on how you can get involved with (DE-FI) as either a designer, model, sponsor, and etc—please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!