The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC is NOT a modeling school, we are NOT an agency or talent management. We provide opportunities for aspiring models regardless of age, height, weight, size, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexuality. The overall goal of our Model Incubator is to eliminate the need for our Model Incubator by attracting legitimate agencies with ethical practices to Dayton, OH. See our Official Code of Conduct
The (DE-FI) Model Incubator reveals the truth about the highly competitive and not so glamorous aspects of what it takes to pursue modeling on a part-time or full-time basis. You will save time and money as we help to lay the foundation and provide the needed support system that will help you and your family decide if this is the right path for you. We are also, the only regional Fashion Organization that provides a way for models to earn pay for their work. Models invited to join our Model Incubator are required to sign our Model Agreement which does not conflict with any agency contract(s) that you may have, in fact we have on-going working relationships with several agencies whose models are a part of our incubator. Plus you are able to work with whomever you'd like, our model agreement is NOT and has NEVER been exclusive.
Over 100 of our models have been signed to agencies worldwide including Factor, Red, and Next. They have appeared on Project Runway and in the pages of Vogue. They have walked for New York, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks for designers like Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, and Versace and have appeared in commercial ad campaigns for Michael Kors, Old Navy, Kohl’s, and Ashley Stewart. Our models have appeared in prime-time television for shows such as Empire and feature films on the Hallmark channel. Outside of modeling several of our models have gone on to pursue professional degrees in fashion, as well as acting from some of the most prestigious programs in the country.
In 2019, we are encouraging our models to use their voice to promote fair treatment, equal opportunity and sustainable practices within the regional fashion community. They are researching laws, and leading the way to introduce proposed legislation to have more transparent and comprehensive laws on the books related to the fashion and entertainment industries in Ohio. By organizing a talented, knowledgeable, and supportive group of models they will use their influence to promote legislative advocacy, greater transparency and accountability within the regional fashion industry.
Though not a modeling agency, the (DE-FI) Model Incubator will teach you the dos and don'ts of the industry that many new models aren't aware of as well as the important skills to master, and pitfalls to avoid. Models will be required to complete (6) Professional Development Free Model Talk Workshops that will cover an array of subjects:
Models will learn:
***You can safely and anonymously report any unwanted or inappropriate conduct related to your modeling experience HERE***
Understanding Contracts, Releases, and Agreements
Posing and Runway
Models in our incubator are given top priority for photoshoots related to (DE-FI)ance Magazine, Dayton Threads, and non-(DE-FI) submission shoots. Models will be cast first for Dayton Fashion Week, they are eligible for the agency visits, will receive support in agency submissions and they will gain first hand knowledge and support for castings related to NYFW. As always, there are opportunities for models to receive monetary compensation based on commission. (See images from our Chicago Agency visits HERE.)
When we host events, we do ask models to sell at least (4) tickets to the event, if they sell all (4), they are paid the cost of (2) of those tickets, if they sell less than the (4) they are paid 20% of their ticket sales. If they are unable to sell tickets, they are NOT penalized and can still participate as a volunteer model.
Models for Dayton Threads will be paid an hourly base rate and yes, for Dayton Fashion Week there will be some non-commission based paid opportunities for models in the (DE-FI) Model Incubator. Check out images and footage from our previous events HERE.
(Please Note: A company/organization's tax exempt status does not eliminate their ability to pay, it only changes how they budget for model compensation, for example The American Cancer Society is a tax exempt organization that is strongly depended on volunteers to help them do their work, however, the American Cancer Society still has employees on their payroll as do many tax exempt organizations).
Models will be required to match the number of hours that we invest into them back into the community, including but not limited to serving as mentors to new models into the incubator. Our Model Incubator is an invite only opportunity and consideration is give to individuals that attend one of our Open Calls in March and September of each year.
There's no catch with us; truth is, you may not even need (DE-FI)! We've provided more FREE Modeling Tips that can get you well on your way to starting your modeling career. However, we strongly encourage you to read and re-read this page in it's entirety and make sure that you have a full understanding of the level of work, commitment, communication, discipline and sacrifice that this industry requires along with having a solid support system in place to help you grow into your career. Rejection is tough and rejection happens daily in this industry, having support is essential even when the jobs start rolling in. Please see Modeling 101 below for additional tips!
While the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC is not currently affiliated with The Model Alliance; we encourage our models to follow them. We strongly recommend ALL individuals considering a career as models or are currently modeling to become familiar with the important work that they do. Please visit their website and follow them on Social Media.
The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC is proud to be the first fashion organization in Ohio to take the lead in establishing laws and guidelines for open, honest, ethical, fair and transparent practices within the regional fashion community. It was (DE-FI) Models that first reached out to our local and state elected officials to express our concerns and demand laws be put on the books. All work done by (DE-FI) professionals must be performed in a professional manner, free of any form
of discrimination or harassment. Due to the lack of legal/regulatory protections for models and others working in the modeling
industry within our region we, as a community of professionals, have created
the following Code of Conduct.
On Saturday, March 16, 2019 we hosted a Model Talk featuring (DE-FI) Model Alum and Civil Rights Investigator for the State of Ohio Rolnecia Carolina Albert who spoke with models in our Incubator on the subject of Sexual Harassment: Prevention, Rights, and Responsibilities not only in the Fashion Industry but in the work place. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Taskforce liaison Tonya Folks also trained our models on recognizing, understanding, and reporting suspected Human Trafficking.
As a direct result of this training and based on the recommendations of Tonya Folks, we have set up additional in-house safe guards as well as a phone number for anonymous reporting of questionable practices within the Fashion Community in the State of Ohio. Safely and privately report, or request assistance with, work related problems, instances of harassment, abuse, or any such sort of unwanted or inappropriate conduct to 937-356-3961 or you can also complete this form below.
In preparation for these training's our models have shared disturbing reports of inappropriate conduct during photoshoots and runway events and even agency related issues. The State of Ohio has no comprehensive laws dedicated to protecting models or any other entertainment talent which leaves many at risk and no recourse and leaves the doors open to no accountability or repercussions for the predator. The closest laws that models and other entertainment based talent can fall back on is related to Independent Contractors. This is NOT sufficient enough and we MUST change the laws.
Sexual harassment, abuse, and assault are NOT a part of the process, it’s against the law and will NOT be tolerated! No model should feel pressured to participate in situations that they are uncomfortable with doing.
Through the anonymous reporting we will work to assist models with inappropriate conduct, agency issues, and other work related problems related to the fashion industry in Ohio including:
· Vague accounting practices
· One-sided agreements
· Payment delays
· Non-responsive representation
Information gathered will also help us have a better understanding of just how vast the problems within the regional fashion industry are as we begin the next steps in working with our legislators in developing and introducing proposals for legislation to protect models and other entertainment talent in Ohio.
We cannot provide legal advice, however, if your issues require the assistance of an attorney please visit www.lawolaw.org.
To report suspect Human Trafficking and you are in Montgomery County, please contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Taskforce Directly at 937-225-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org . If you are outside of Montgomery County you can call the National Human Trafficking Resources Center at 1-888-373-7888.
Additional resources include:
What do I do if I believe someone is a victim? If something doesn't seem right, tell someone! You can call the National Human Trafficking Resources Center at 1-888-373-7888, or locally you can call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Hotline at 937-225-4357, or email@example.com
P.O. Box 1664, Daton, OH 45401
The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC is committed to protecting the safety, personal information, images, and well-being of our models and those wanting to become a model. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, transparency, and authenticity and believe it is important to advise models of the legitimate dangers that lurk within the fashion industry.
Please be careful when dealing with individuals who contact you online through social media or via email. Please be aware that there are individuals who will prey on your modeling ambitions by impersonating agents or other modeling organizations and contact you directly, please take the necessary precautions including:
1.) Always independently verify the identity of any individual claiming to be a representative of an agency or organization
2.) Legitimate modeling agencies may contact you through a social media application or through email…PAY ATTENTION TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES. For example, legit agencies WILL NOT contact you from a gmail, msn, aol and etc account. When in doubt go to the agency’s website to confirm their email address AND Social Media Handles to know if it is a legitimate interaction.
3.) Legitimate agencies NEVER request photos in the nude or lingerie MOST legitimate agencies and organizations DO NOT conduct interviews using Facetime, Skype, and etc
4) When using apps to book a job, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Model apps are awesome for freelance models and in some cases you pay less in commission than you would if you were signed with a legit agency. #ReadingIsFundamental
The Golden Rule of Modeling: Never pay an agency to represent you and sure as hell don't pay an organization to be in their show or represent a brand, and no, you don't need to buy a book! If they are asking for an upfront fee to cover their production cost or must pay for unsold tickets…RUN!!!! It’s that simple, it is NOT the models responsibility to make sure that their show goes on and that their expenses are covered. Legit fashion weeks/organization (regional, national, or internationally known) never charge models to participate in their events. #Period
It does not cost money to sign with a legitimate agency. Legit agencies are paid commission, meaning you MUST be paid for work that you do before they EVER are paid a dime. While agency laws vary from state to state most legal limits are 20% meaning if your agency books you on a job and you are paid $500 your agency receives $100. In some smaller markets, you may be required to pay for your own portfolio, but we’ll touch on that in a few more tips. #WeSaidWhatWeSaid
"You should start with modeling school!" Said no legit agent ever! Modeling School are a waste of time and money. No respectable or legitimate agency HAS EVER recommended a modeling school for aspiring models. Do not be talked into taking the classes to get images for your portfolio either because the images that you receive from a modeling school will NOT be useful for legitimate agencies, you will be told to throw them away and start a new portfolio designed around your newly rebranded image. Besides, almost every Modeling School in Ohio and parts of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin have reached out to us to see if we'd be willing to work with their models, including John Casablanca/MTM. In short... #JustSayNoToModelingSchools
Model Conventions can be legit AND COSTLY! Truth be told, legit agencies do participate in Modeling Conventions. The key is DOING YOUR RESEARCH; DO NOT MORTGAGE YOUR HOME TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE CONVENTIONS they can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Yes these conventions can be fun, however, out of the sometimes week long conventions, only one day is really needed and that’s the day that you meet the agents. If it cost more than $500 it’s not worth it, create a budget, find out how much it would cost you to travel to Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles and visit the same agencies in person for their FREE Open calls. Keeping in mind that if you did NOT receive a callback after you’ve tried Tip # 4 and 5 free of charge, you need to become more realistic about your future in the industry. If that’s not enough, DO YOUR RESEARCH, how many models can you find that were “Discovered” at a modeling convention?
Last but not least, Do NOT Go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on photos for your portfolio IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SIGNED TO AN AGENCY!! Aspiring models do NOT need to have professional images to be considered by LEGIT Agencies!!
Things to remember when taking images for agency submission:
1. Keep it simple; use your cellphone camera
2. Do NOT wear Makeup
3. Have your hair pulled back
4. Do NOT wear prints or logos on your clothing
5. Visit the agencies website for specific details on what kinds of images are required for submission.
Legit agencies have a clear set of directions on their website of image submission criteria. AGAIN Images DO NOT need to be professional, this image of (DE-FI) Model Alum and 2017 Cover Model Sarah was taken via cellphone by (DE-FI) Owner/Director Caressa Brown! Most agencies only request 3-4 images. (1) Head Shot, (1) Full Body Shot, (1) 3/4 Profile Image, and (1) Shoulder Up forward image
(DE-FI) Model Alum Sarah shows us how to take the perfect head shot. Please note you should never wear makeup and your hair should always be pulled back and preferably in a ponytail. (Image taken with a cellphone)
Your shoulders should be turn slightly for this image which is not depicted here, however, the general idea is to get an angled side view of your face. (Note: Many agencies may request a 3/4 Profile image which is taken from the waist up. (Image taken with a cellphone)
After you've submitted your images to the agency, if they are interested, they will contact you to get additional information. They WILL more than likely request this next group of images to be taken in a (2) piece swimsuit. Where you will be given specific details of how to take your measurements along with taking a picture of your measurements. (Note: This is a web image)
You will NEVER be asked by a legit agency to take these images in lingerie or naked!
This information is request to confirm that the measurements that you sent on you application are correct and that your images are current. (Note: This is a web image)
All legit agencies will correspond with you via the official email address for example JaneDoe@fordmodels.com or JohnSmith@imgmodels.com. They will not send you an email from a gmail.com or aol.com address. When in doubt go to their website get the phone number and call for confirmation. (Note this is a web image)
Once you've snapped those agency submission images with your cell phone camera. Now you have to decide what is the best market for you!
If you are at least 16years old and under 5'7 odds are you will not be signed to a modeling agency however, acting may be your true calling but small market organizations like The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC will always make room for you on our runways and at our photoshoots! :-D
There are also talent agencies that you could be signed to but it is important that you do your research first and DO NOT be afraid to ask questions.
Most of the agencies in these markets do represent children; again you MUST do your research because some agencies will require that the child live within 40 miles of the agency to be represented.
So You've Followed The First 2 Rules and You're Still Not Signed...Now What? You have two options:
1) Resubmit your images to the agencies in the major markets every 6 months
2) Find a local Mother Agency in smaller markets.
What's a Mother Agency you ask? A mother agent or agency is usually the first modeling agency you begin working with when you start your modeling career. A mother agent can also be a scout that discovered you and helped you get your start. Again doing your research is important, many states, Ohio included have very lax laws surrounding the fashion and entertainment industries which put aspiring talent at risk,
We cannot tell you the number of horror stories we have heard from models that we have worked and are signed with agencies in smaller markets. Anywhere from Mother Agencies blocking models from being signed with larger more reputable agencies due to the overly eager model OR their parents not understanding the exclusive contract that they signed with the smaller agency.
To models scrapping their very last dime together to purchase one- way plane tickets to fly across the country to meet with a booking agent JUST to find out that their Mother agent did not properly arrange a meeting. To models agreeing to pay a Mother agent for 10 years after their contract is over for any paying modeling job that they may receive after leaving said agency even though they didn't book them on that job.
It is important to ask as many questions as you can before signing your name to a contract. Legitimate agencies will not be offended by your questions, if an agency gets angry or pressures you into signing anything walk away and DON'T look back because odds are you are about to scammed!!
This is a "Here Today, Gone Today" industry! Don't let signing a bad contract ruin your dreams!!!
Unless you are an established model and well known in the larger markets, odds are all of your old images will be useless for your new agency; they will require you to start a new portfolio because they will re-brand you, give you a makeover, and promote you as a "Fresh Face".
Your agency will recommend photographers for you. Depending on the agency and/or market the agency MAY pay up front for your pics BUT please understand once you begin receiving paid work, you MUST reimburse your agency for the images and those monies will be taken out of your pay check on top of the commission. Agencies in smaller markets like Ohio MAY require the model to pay for their images because there is not enough paid work in that market.
In short, before you cough up hundreds or thousands of dollars for a photographer, ESPECIALLY if you decide to NOT use the photographers recommend by your agency...Ask your selected photographer for their portfolio, schedule a meeting with your agency and the photographer to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is nothing worse than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a portfolio and having your agency throw it away because the images are not useful.
We have an entire list of models that we refuse to ever work with again due to lack of professional courtesy, not being dependable, having poor attitudes, and not being coach-able, just to name a few.
As frivolous and vain as this industry may seem, the beautiful picture and 30 second strut on the catwalk is just the surface. This is a $900 Billion a year industry and business minded models are successful models!
Rules to live by:
1) Be on time, if you're going to be late even if it's just a few minutes, be courteous and call. If you are not going to make it notify the correct person and follow the communication process that has been implemented.
2) Listen, make sure you are truly understanding what is being said. We all know that what is being said vs what is heard can often be two different things. So before you storm off in anger or disappointment, ask clarifying questions to make sure you are on the same page.
3) Go where you are told to go, if you are supposed to be at an Open call or Go-See at 11a, don't go site seeing or go hanging with your friends. You'll never book a job by skipping out on opportunities that someone has arranged for you.
4)Watch the company that you keep! Not everyone is going to be your friend even if they are smiling in your face and call you friend. Some people will attach themselves to you to try and gain access to opportunities that they may not have otherwise had and others are there simply to distract you from pursuing your dreams or to keep you in a place where they are comfortable seeing.
Join us for this..."it's a great way to get exposure? Join us for that..."you'll get exposure!"
Question...exposure to what? If the only benefit of participating in a "fashion event" is exposure...you need to ask them:
1) Exposure to who?
2) Are you linked to a legit agency or reputable Public Relations company?
3) Will you have industry guest that will be in the audience specifically to scout?
4) Will this opportunity help lead to paid work?
In short, if their version of "exposure" is not career advancing don't waste your time; you need exposure to the right people. The window for opportunity is so small in this industry please be smart about how you use your time pursuing it.
Agencies want to give the perception of fresh faces, if you have your images plastered along fashion organizations websites and social media pages from coast to coast agencies may not view this as favorable! Believe us, we've been asked by top agencies not to use some of our Model Alums names in Hashtags using old images of them simply because the images that we have of them do not match their re-branded image and narrative of being a freshly discovered model.
This is how the industry works; it's an industry of newness, don't blow your chance by being over exposed, learning bad habits, or working with inexperienced talent that makes you look bad ie poor lighting, bad focus, bad makeup, bad hair, bad posing...before being signed. Point: Be selective with choosing your opportunities, opportunities should be mutually beneficial, don't be afraid to ask what the benefits of participation are.
Regional Mother Agencies can be a great way to get your start as a model. However, we are very leery of of regional agencies that sign every model that walk through their door. Questions you should consider:
1) How are they serving and nurturing all of these models?
2) How many of these models are actually getting paid work?
3) Are they signing all of these models in order to collect legit fees like website fees in order to cover their overhead cost? If so, how is this fair to models who have put their trust in you to advance their careers and all you see in them is a way to make ends meet for your business. Leaving promising careers in limbo, again this is a here today, gone today industry, working with the right agency and management group is imperative.
The Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC accepts models age 4 and better we celebrate beauty in all of its forms so there are no height or size restrictions.
Models MUST wear form fitting clothes complimentary to their body type. No wild prints or logos should be worn. Hair should be pulled back and out of the models face. Little to no makeup should be worn.
All models MUST bring (2) recent images that we can keep. (Note: Images DO NOT need to be professional!! Submission images may be taken with a cell phone and printed off.)
1) Images MUST be clear
2) Image #1 Full body image
3) Image # 2 Head Shot
(Note: Models MUST wear form fitting clothes. No wild prints or logos should be worn. Hair should be pulled back and out of the models face. Little to no makeup should be worn in the images.)
All inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
#KeepingThemHonest #RemovingBarriers #TheFashionPipeline #FashionAdvancement #WhatDoYouDEFI #FirstFlightNowFashion