New local fashion business now open at Dayton Mall

DAYTON — A new business supporting emerging fashion designers had its grand opening at the Dayton Mall Saturday.

Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI), is the first fashion design, modeling, and business co-working space in the area, said Caressa Brown, owner and founder of DE-FI.

Brown is a former model and Dayton native. She sits on the advisory board for Hocking College’s new Fashion Design Program and has worked in Higher Education for the past decade including Clark State, Sinclair, Wright State, and OSU.

The grand opening on Saturday included a ribbon cutting. Guests were invited to demonstrations and tours throughout the day.

Guests were invited to sit through sewing and knitting demonstrations, as well as networking demonstrations where guests were showed different ways to approach starting a business partnership.

Additionally, guests were treated to a demonstration from a farmer from Industry Farms. The farmer sheers sheep and explained how that wool gets turned into yarn.

Once the items are designed and created at DE-FI, they will be displayed in Dayton Threads, a unique retail boutique and showroom promoting the fashion and design talents locally and from around the country, stated a media release.

“Our guests are always changing and evolving, and at Dayton Mall, we want to be able to offer them today’s top trends and shopping destinations,” said Dave Dubber, General Manager of Dayton Mall.

“We are so excited to welcome something so unique as DE-FI; the only one of its kind in the entire area.”

Brown’s vision for DE-FI includes three phases.

“The House of (DE-FI)ance space is what I like to call Phase I, where the networking, training, professional development and business takes place,” she said.

“Phase II is where designers can have their product micro-manufactured or prototyped. We have a designer studio for designers to work on their trade and meet with clients. We are also creating a sound studio in the back space of Phase II where designers can work with musicians to create runway music for their shows.”

“Phase III is the retail space of Dayton Threads and represents the finished product. You’ve done the work in Phase I, you had your product produced in Phase II, and Phase III is where you’ll sell your work. Ideally, the customer that shops at Dayton Threads is planning ahead for travel or a special occasion.”

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