Our Story

RITE OF PASSAGE is a slow fashion label inspired by the darker, delicate details found in nature. Designer Giovanni Daina Palermo and entrepreneur Libby O’Bryan, two friends, professional pattern makers, and conceptual artists founded the brand in 2018. The pieces we make fall somewher between art and fashion - a language spoken through dress.

RITE OF PASSAGE is dedicated to the beauty of particulars and the mysteries in pattern, form, color and texture that our world presents to us. We believe elegance is a daily expression and a source of intentional joy. In honor of the intimate relationship our bodies have with these garments, we use natural fibers and interesting Jacquard textiles that feel as good as they look.

Giovanni and Libby met while working in the fashion industry in NYC. Joined by their families, both made their way from New York to Asheville, located in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. All garments are constructed at our sewing house, Sew Co. viewable from our River Arts Distrct Store.  

Our design and production teams practice the Great Game of Business, which is open-book management to the next level. We look at all our finacials, with our entire team, every week. Radical financial transparency promotes a culture of collective problem solving and ownership.

Leftover textile waste (if any remains) gets recycled through Material Return, where it is spun into a new yarn. Contributing to a local, circular economy of pre-consumer textile production is a essential to our conscious brand. We are proud founding partners of the Carolina Textile District where we are invested in creating a new and dynamic textile industry in our region that values the worker, the environment, and the community.

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