photo by Andy Snow

(DE-FI)ning (DE-FI)

The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC is a volunteer based community outreach organization that works with area designers in building their brands, establishing their clientele, learning runway production, and editorial shoots. (DE-FI) Designers have gained firsthand experience working behind the scenes of some of the top design houses for the former Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Their designs have been featured on the covers of Vogue Africa and in the pages of Vogue Italia, and Essence magazines, they have also had their designs featured in music videos, commercial print, and film.

We also develop aspiring models by providing them with world class runway experience, tear sheet quality images, and put them in front of the world’s top modeling agencies.  Our models have appeared on Project Runway, in the pages of Vogue, have been signed to some of the world's top modeling agencies including Factor, Red, and Next, and have walked for New York, Paris, and Milan Fashion Week for designers like Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, and Versace.

We do NOT charge any fees for any of our services and only make money when we produce a show.  Led by a network of fashion professionals, business owners, and community leaders; this network simply known as (DE-FI) pronounced “defy” is re-engineering the global and regional fashion experience making Dayton, Ohio’s fashion scene one of the most highly sought after territories and markets in the Midwest.  Fashion organizations from D.C., Chicago, and around Ohio to name a few see the talent and work that we are doing and they all want in on the action.


Our Vision

To promote excellence and gain recognition for Dayton as a global leader for emerging and established designers, model development, creative expressions, fashion manufacturing, and innovation.

Our Mission

To provide support to Dayton and the Midwest’s fashion industries in the form of business resources, exposure, education, advocacy, and advancement.

We accomplish our vision and mission by:

1. Establishing a Fashion Pipeline that includes engaging our youth

2. Supporting emerging designers by providing a support system that assist in establishing a client base, teaching the ropes on producing runway events, creating editorial spreads, and advancing the now established designer beyond the local market

3. Providing a support system for aspiring models, teaching them how to spot scams to avoid industry pitfalls, provide them with the tools needed to advance their careers

4. Building relationships and establishing partnerships within the community

The fashion industry is a $900 Billion a year industry in the U.S. and is the 2nd largest employer.  Fashion is more than just the clothes on our backs or entertainment; fashion is an opportunity for economic growth for the City of Dayton that has one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. according to Forbes.

By providing educational, economic, and community building opportunities mostly in Southwest Ohio; (DE-FI) primarily serves those interested in the fashion industry.  Whether you are fashion hobbyist or pursuing careers in fashion, the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC bridges the gap between designers, customers, and garment manufacturing.

(DE-FI) builds a sense of community, we curate ideas, we disrupt the status quo, we identify the problem then we initiate change.  We are not re-inventing the wheel, we are changing how the wheel is used ultimately putting a global spotlight on Dayton’s emerging and advancing fashion industry and talented work force.




 #RemovingBarriers     #BeDisruptive        #TheFashionPipeline #FashionAdvancement  #WhatDoYouDEFI    #FirstFlightNowFashion

Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC
P.O.Box 1664
Dayton, OH 45401-1664

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