About Libby O’Bryan
Libby is an artist, a designer, and a business woman based in Asheville, NC. Trained in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, business administration at the University of San Francisco, and fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, O’Bryan melds her hybrid background into a conceptual, sustainable practice of unconventional sewing enterprises.
O’Bryan’s business, Western Carolina Sewing Company, or Sew Co., is an effort to preserve the skill of sewing and our domestic manufacturing economy. After apparel production management positions with Gary Graham in New York City and Laurenceleste in Chicago, O’Bryan witnessed in-house sewing jobs move overseas. Haunted by the potential extinction of skill in the U.S., Sew Co. was conceived and established in 2010 when invited to share a roof and a vision for progressive production with The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, NC. Sew Co. became a partner with the Carolina Textile District to be a part of a larger movement of textile revitalization – partner mills are big, by being small together. O’Bryan has been manager and director of the Carolina Textile District’s cooperatively produced COLLECTION brand for the past 2 years. Collection works with participatory and cooperative models to create meaningful production work for a community of workers and makers. Collection uses sustainable and natural materials, as a responsibility to that very same community and beyond.
About the video
The interview with Libby O’Bryan took place on August 19, 2020 as part of the virtual Solidarity on Tap series.