The Fashion Pipeline

Fashion Advancement

Over the past 5+ years, the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC has been one of the most influential fashion organizations in the country. From our unique sold out events, to our mentoring of models, and supplying the tools for our designers to build their brand.  We’ve paved the way for our peer organizations to re-think and re-imagine #TheFashionExperience.

Realizing the significant impact fashion has on the local economy from sewing lessons, to pop-up shops, boutiques, and fashion shows; we have envisioned fashion as a driver for job creation, cultural growth, trade development, and tourism.  Building on Dayton's long manufacturing heritage the idea of fashion advancement is to have a place that used the resources and opportunities available in the Gem City to help aspiring local fashion designers build sustainable businesses that can compete in the global fashion industry.

The mission of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC, The Dayton Garment &Textile District, The Gem City Sewing Company, Dayton Threads, Dayton Design Week and Dayton Fashion Week is to make meaningful economic impact in Dayton by giving fashion designers technical product development and business tools and training to create innovative products and launch globally competitive businesses based in Dayton.

Our goal is to acquire a space large enough to house our subsidiaries. The space will be comprised of a manufacturing workroom equipped, cutting tables, sewing machines, and pressing stations where sewist will produce designer’s lines and sample collections.  This will be a makerspace, bringing the community together — cutting across ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, geography and age — to explore new creative possibilities.   This space will also serve as a resource center that provides other independent apparel and accessories designers with educational tools, research assets, and programming to help further their fashion business growth and development. We are currently accepting donations.

Our #FashionAdvancement program will take the designer beyond just doing another show, we will provide them with essential tools to aid them in their development as both creative artists and successful business owners. Additionally, plan to support an internship program in partnership with leading fashion schools in Ohio and also to host professional business and merchandising seminars and workshops for emerging fashion entrepreneurs, in addition to other public programming to promote and encourage design education and foster public appreciation for all aspects of fashion, design, and history.  

Support Our Work

Now more than ever, our volunteer run and led organization needs your support! Every dollar counts, your generous gift enables our team to address new challenges and explore opportunities to help advance the careers of our blooming talent.

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Our Subsidiaries

The Gem City Sewing Company


In partnership with our official non-profit and 501 c3 The Circle of Vision Keepers Re-entry and Recovery Program, the GCSC will offer workforce development for train to sew programs in under-served communities and the courts to pair skilled sewist with sewn goods employers including the Dayton Threads and the Dayton Garment & Textile District Resource Directory, as well as manufacturing small sewing projects for paid work. 

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Dayton Garment & Textile District


The Dayton Garment & Textile District offers micro-manufacturing services by our tested sewist as well as being an online Resource Directory of sewist, seamstresses, fabric makers, pattern makers, weavers, fabric dyers, beaders, embroiderers, unique fabric vendors and other textile related talent and busineses to build a community and networking registry of skilled sewn product talent 

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Dayton Threads


Dayton Threads is a unique business that creates innovative online and offline creative spaces to promote, support and retail the finest independent fashion and design talent from across the Midwest.

We live and breathe independent brands! We've made it our mission to provide a platform for designers to thrive by reaching new audiences and we pride ourselves on selling unique, inspiring products on behalf of the some of the best independent brands.

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Dayton Design Week


The Inaugural Dayton Design Week is a grassroots effort organized by community volunteers seeking to increase public awareness and  appreciation of all aspects of design and its impact on society, culture, people and business.  Fostering recognition of the important role design plays in our lives, and bring new audiences to a wide array of design industries and organizations.  

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Dayton Fashion Week


Dayton Fashion Week is a platform for designers and artists to showcase their collections in a contemporary fashion week setting featuring local and national designers. Our focus is on emerging and independent fashion designers with a mission of connecting them to boutique, buyers and directly to consumer through runway experiences, pop up shops, networking opportunities and social experiences and the highly curated Dayton Threads an online boutique experience.  

Visit Dayton Fashion Week

Donation Request for the Gem City Sewing company

Help us Launch the Gem City Sewing Company

Do  you have an unused or underused space that you would like to  collaborate and make productive and prosperous? Our sewist are currently  operating from in home studios, which has worked thus far, however,  with the upcoming roll-out of Dayton Threads later this year, a larger  and more collaborative space will be required. 

We are looking for a space to house this initiative and we’d love to work with you!! A few requirements for the space include:

  •  220v for industrial sewing machines
  •  110v for home sewing machines
  • Hook-up for commercial grade washer and dryer
  • Secure storage space for groups or individuals
  • Internet access
  • Land line
  • Electric outlets for small appliances

Whether you are cleaning out your sewing studio, craft stash,  fabric leftovers, art closet, estate collection, or unfinished project  we’d love to take the items that are no longer useful to you and give  them another life.

Additional Supplies and Equipment Needed:

  • Industrial sewing machines (10)
  • Home sewing machines (10)
  • Serger (10)
  • Washer and dryer (commercial grade) (4)
  • Cutting tables (4’ x 8’)  (10)
  • Chairs for classroom space (10)
  • Iron and ironing board (10)
  • Steamer (10)
  • Draft tables (10)
  • Carts for moving 
  • Dress forms (10)
  • Gift cards from local crafts / sewing stores, Amazon, Wawak or locally-owned Webb & Sons
  • Double-stitch industrial machine (10)
  • Shelf units (prefer units at least 24” to 30” deep for storage of fabric)
  • Ott Lite table lamps (10)
  • Magnifying light / lamp (10)
  • 72” Aluminum Straight Edge Rule (10)
  • Washer and Dryer – small apartment size (4)
  • Label maker
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner with utensils (for cleaning sewing machines)
  • Printer & Ink (6)
  • Laptop computer (10)
  • Step stool (2)
  • Thread – Industrial and Heavy Duty
  • Heavy-weight fabrics and leather
  • Fabric Press with steam (commercial grade) (5)
  • Flat fabric pieces 1/2 yd+
  • Sewing Notions: zippers, buttons, snaps, grommets, buckles, etc.
  • Thread: industrial or button threads, embroidery thread, polyester sew-all, top-stitching etc
  • Sewing needles: extra machine or hand needles
  • Sewing tools: scissors, rotary cutters, replacement blades, pins, chalk, seam rippers, tools, magnetic pincushions
  • Sewing Notions: Velcro, elastic, webbing, belting, boning, ribbon
  • Leather, Wool Scraps, Felt
  • Sewing Patterns
  • Sewing instruction books
  • Embroidery supplies
  • Fabric paint or dye
  • 45MM Rotary Cutter Blades - Olfa preferred
  • 60MM Rotary Cutter Blades - Olfa preferred
  • Wonder Tape
  • Zip Lock Bags - 2 gallon 
  • Quilt Batting

Arrange your donation today! Call the Circle of Vision Keepers Re-Entry and Recovery Program (937) 409-7887 or email  to arrange donation of your new and/or used sewing goods. The Circle of  Vision Keepers is located at 3401 Woodman Drive, Suite 12, Kettering,  OH 45459.

Donate Now

All donations are being collected via The Circle of Vision Keeper's Re-entry and Recovery program which has voted to become the Fiscal Sponsor for the Gem City Sewing Company.  All donations made are tax deductible.

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