Our Story

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. The pieces we make fall somewhere between art and fashion - a language spoken through dress.

Designer Giovanni Daina Palermo and entrepreneur Libby O’Bryan, two friends, professional pattern makers, and conceptual artists founded RITE OF PASSAGE in 2018. 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.

Our Shop

Our retail shop is located in Asheville's River Arts District, where visitors can see our garments being designed and constructed in our adjoining sewing house, Sew Co. We offer weekly studio tours as part of our mission to make manufacturing, and garment production specifically, more transparent, visible, and valuable to those who consume.

Our Practices

As a team, our staff practices the Great Game of Business, a model taking open-book management to the next level. Weekly, our entire team gathers to analyze our financials, make collective decisions, and strategize for the future. 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.