The (DE-FI) Family: Behind the Fashion Experience

Who We Are and What We Do

Owned and Directed by former model Caressa L. Brown, a 27 year veteran of the Fashion Industry who reached out to her friends and mentors Ed Dixon, owner of the Edward A. Dixon Gallery, Cindy Gaboury, owner of Audio Etc..., Sarah Wacksmuth of Pretty in Dayton, Lamar Pacley, owner of Shuttereye Photo and Dayton Wedding Photographers, Pete Bradow, owner of of PTB Photography, LaToya Stephens, Owner of  Signature Events, and Danielle Simpson community administrator and together, they founded the Dayton Emerging Fashion incubator (DE-FI) in the Fall of 2012. 


Officially launching in the summer of 2013, (DE-FI) is a ground breaking organization in the Greater Dayton and Miami Valley area that introduces, mentors, and helps to launch the careers of designers, models, and other professionals into the fashion industry.We are a network of fashion professionals, business owners, community leaders, and volunteers; together this network simply known as (DE-FI) pronounced “defy” is re-engineering the global fashion experience. 


As a volunteer based community outreach organization that works with area designers in building their brands, establishing their clientele, learning runway production, and editorial shoots.   We also develop aspiring models by providing them with world class runway experiences, tear sheet quality images, and put them in front of the world’s top modeling agencies. 


 (DE-FI) has positioned itself as one of the most influential fashion organizations in the country! A first of its kind fashion organization, (DE-FI) serves as an umbrella organization that addresses every aspect and need of those seeking careers in fashion including micro-manufacturing, workforce development, e-commerce, and production via our subsidiaries the Dayton Garment & Textile District, The Gem City Sewing Company, Dayton Threads, and the newly acquired Dayton Fashion Week  and Dayton Design Week.


Meet members of the (DE-FI) Family Leadership !

We helped cast Dayton native & former Calvin Klein designer Christy Solomon's City of Saints show.
We helped cast Dayton native & former Calvin Klein designer Christy Solomon's City of Saints show.