The bar was set high for the Inaugural Dayton Fashion Week, what started out as just a fun idea grew and grew and in the age of social networking word soon traveled outside of the city, outside of the state, and oh yeah outside of the country!! Who would have thought that little old Dayton, OH would cause such a stir in the Fashion World that even the people at Italian Vogue’s party during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Miami would be talking about us and watching us…after all this was just the first one! The designer submission for DFW 2013 have already started rolling in starting with South Africa’s International Fashion House Azucar who has already signed on!
In this first year, we faced it all controversy, skepticism, criticism, and attempts of sabotage, yet we were lifted up each time by friendships, support, faith, determination, shared visions, encouragement, opportunity, and outreach, making dealing with the negativity from a handful of individuals much easier to ignore and here we stand today with success in our hands.
In the days and weeks leading up to and following Dayton Fashion Week, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions from a huge sense of accomplishment to asking myself if I ever wanted to be a part of something like this again…especially since I wasn’t in it for personal gain; I was and still in it because I love this city! Each time I thought about throwing in the towel I was reminded and motivated by those who stood behind me and had my back when we faced adversity, next to me when there was work to be done, and in front of me when it came time to take the lead and show the world just who and what Dayton Fashion week was and is all about. I found that the support far out numbered the naysayers…and I can proudly look back at our first year with ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS!!
The success stories that have followed in the past couple of weeks speak for themselves and have made it all worth it, starting with:
“The Face” of Dayton Fashion Week
Celebrity photographer Rich Jackson was in the building during Dayton Fashion Week doing some scouting. Rich has been credited
with discovering some of the today’s top models and entertainers. During his stay here in Dayton he hand selected 9 models from Dayton Fashion Week that caught his eye during our Kids Couture and Ready To Wear shows. Including Jessica Ventus, Kayla Holts, AjA Howard, Ashley Jones, Grace Langshaw, Dana Langshaw, Erica Skrylac, Jeanne Kinne, and Olivia Nichols who was named “The Face” of Dayton Fashion Week; Olivia has gone on to do other shoots with Rich for national campaigns!
Abercrombie & Fitch signs Dayton Fashion Week Model
Joshua Reid was discovered while walking the runway of Dayton Fashion Week by scouts from Abercrombie & Fitch who were in attendance and as of today Josh is officially the newest face of A&F!
“The Hidden Gem”
According to McKinley Pierre, the Executive Producer of Miami, FL based fashion series Inside Couture Dayton designer L’Amour Ameer stole the show! From his creative runway presentation to his multipurpose multifunctioning designs—“Look! Up on the runway!! It’s a bag, it’s a—wait for it…wait for it…Wow it’s a jacket??” Mr. Ameer’s showcase during DFW had people cheering in their seats and left the people from Inside Couture in awe naming him the “Show Stopper” and “Hidden Gem” of Dayton Fashion Week!
Sew Dayton Opens for Business!
What can I say about Dayton designer Tracy McElfresh other than the fact that she was a God send during DFW! Not only was she one of our most popular designers appearing with us on Living Dayton, FOX 45 In The Morning, and appearing in F.I.Q. Magazine but when Junda suffered her stroke days before the kickoff of DFW Tracy stepped up, took over some of my duties and became my right hand woman when it came to answering most of the contractual questions being asked of me by designers. So, I’m super excited for her new business Sew Dayton; in conjunction with Activated Spaces Tracy and her business Partner Jesy Anderson will open their own clothing shop complete with original designs from Tracy, hand bags designed by Jesy, and they will even offer sewing lessons! Located in the Oregon District across from Thai 9, Sew Dayton will open its doors this Friday Sept 7!
Pretty In Dayton gets invited to the Big Apple
Another God send was Fashion blogger Sarah Tyrchniewicz of Pretty In Dayton, like Tracy, Sarah stepped up and took over some of my duties when Junda fell ill and helped us to keep the ball rolling. And in the process, her honest, sincere, and edgy writing style caught the attention of designers who are participating in New York Fashion Week which kicks off this week! They invited her to sit in the audience and do what she does best give her thoughts and opinions on the latest fashion trends hitting the runway and the streets! Though she had to decline the late invites we’re pretty confident that Sarah and Pretty In Dayton will continue to capture the fashion worlds attention!
Photographer of the Year!
Dayton Fashion Week Photographer Lamar Pacley has been nominated for Photographer of The Year for the 2012 Ohio Hip Hop Awards! Lamar played a huge role in the success of Dayton Fashion Week, from scouting models, shooting the cover of F.I.Q. Magazine, and working with the designers to name a few. Lamar definitely has our vote you can vote for him too at http://survey.websitegear.com/launch/29437/173!
These are just a handful of the success stories that have unfolded in the last couple of weeks from members of Team DFW! I’ve been approached about creating a Designer Incubator for the Midwest, Dayton Fashion Week caught the eye of producers from Naomi Campbell’s new reality show “The Face” and requested some information about several of our models, Dayton Fashion Week models and designers will be on a big screen near you soon after being cast as extras and stylist for a feature film being shot locally, DFW Events Manager Cindy Gaboury is writing for a new magazine called Envision Chronicle, you’ll also see the work of one of DFW’s models on a national hit show soon, and DFW Designer and CEO of Midwest Fashion Week Berny Martin will be showcasing his Spring 2013 designs during New York Fashion Week Emerge Show just to mention a few more!
The Inaugural Dayton Fashion Week has made its mark in the Fashion Industry and Fashion Weeks from across the country and fashion insiders from around the world have reached out to us for support and to help us grow to make it to the next level! The 2012 Dayton Fashion Week consisted of a lot of educating, trial and error, lessons learned, adjusting, adapting, communication, and corrections. Coming into this year we only had 3 people who were familiar with Fashion Weeks– myself, Junda, and one other model– now we have 300! The planning for the 2013 Dayton Fashion Week is currently underway. Stay tuned for details on how you can become a part of the planning process! For more information on Dayton Fashion Week be sure to “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/daytonfashion .