Brand Story

TOTEMISM is a fashion label founded by Rita Trömböczky and Johnny H. Nguyen on the belief that we should be discerning about what we put on our bodies. In some ways, we are what we wear. There's a symbiosis between us and the pieces we love most, feel most comfortable in, and wear so often, they become a second skin. They help us tell the story of who we are, and they have stories of their own – what they're made of, how they're made, who made them, where, and under what conditions. 

TOTEMISM is multicultural. Living nomadically between Budapest, Los Angeles, and Hanoi, we make clothes, jewelry, and accessories inspired by the diverse myriad of cultures and traditions we experience on our journeys around the world. The distinct textures, landscapes, and ethos of Hungary, California, Vietnam, and every sojourn in between inform our aesthetic and serve as the palette for our designs.

TOTEMISM is raw luxe. It starts with our meticulously selected natural materials. Wherever we are, we’re always hunting in and around fabric markets for the finest silk and linen. Our jewelry is made by combining 925 sterling silver with buffalo horn and totemic organic matter we forage like fossil, stone, crystal, and wood. Rita makes each piece by hand, preserving as much of the materials’ natural essence as possible, with longevity in mind. Then we partner with local artisans – skilled tailors and silversmiths – to produce Rita's designs at scale.

TOTEMISM is hunkapi, a Lakota Sioux word that means "we're all related." Aside from trying to make the most beautiful things we can, we strive to advance the welfare of everyone we're fortunate enough to meet, collaborate with, and call "family." We do this through profit sharing. We also devote a percentage of our profits to organizations that fight for racial and gender equity and the economic empowerment of marginalized, vulnerable, and excluded peoples. When you support us, you're supporting an entire village.