Caressa Brown founded (DE-FI), the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator, six years ago with the goal of making Dayton the fashion capital of the Midwest.
Today, she is poised to open the region’s first multidisciplinary fashion coworking studio — and she wants your input.
“We’re shedding our grassroots structure and becoming more visible within the community,” Caressa said. “The multidisciplinary fashion coworking space will offer fashion professionals an affordable and unique workspace right here in Dayton — a fashion business hub created by and for the fashion community.”
(DE-FI) is holding a series of bi-weekly public meetings in the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch’s Conference Room 1B, to get community feedback on the general direction, business model, and logistics for the fashion coworking space. The current vision for it incorporates a design studio featuring design software, designated and roaming desks, designated and roaming offices, a visual art studio, a fashion studio, a makerspace, a micro-manufacturing/fabrication space, photography studio, sewing studio, conference room, production room, classroom space, networking space, and venue rental.
Participants in the Aug. 3 session will hear about the progress of the local fashion community and will work together in small groups to generate ideas for the character and amenities of the space that may be incorporated into the overall plan, Caressa said.
Follow-up meetings will be held at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch on Aug. 31, 10a-12p, Conference Room 3A; & Sept. 14, 10a-12p, Conference Room 3A.
(DE-FI) currently operates a number of subsidiaries that work different angles to make Dayton a fashion center. Among them, The Gem City Sewing Company trains individuals to sew, prioritizing work with underserved communities; Dayton Garment & Textile District offers micro-manufacturing and an online registry of seamstresses, fabric makers, pattern makers, weavers, fabric dyers, beaders, embroiderers and vendors; & Dayton Threads, an online boutique, hopefully soon to be a brick and mortar shop, offers retail space for individual and emerging designers to sell their products.
(DE-FI) also runs Dayton Fashion Week, and holds workshops on topics ranging from combatting sexual harassment and trafficking to advocating legislators and establishing reporting hotlines to combat the predatory aspects of the fashion industry.