“The odds of a person of color breaking into the upper echelon of the culture, where the stories and songs and visions that we tell ourselves about ourselves–with all their values, meanings, and instructions for living–are gathered, made, produced, and then marketed, sold, and pushed back to us, remain long indeed.” – Jeff Chang, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

At SASAI STUDIOS, four core principles ground what we do not only in our business, but also in our personal life:

  1. Advocacy work, though it may look different and cover different spheres, is interconnected and not done in siloes. Storytelling for and representing our culture through fashion and design is only part of the equation to dismantling systemic failures. We aim to connect showcasing our culture with contributing to organizations with local impact.
  2. The very thing our industry focuses on–capitalism–leaves us off center in a self centered world. We hope that a purchase through our company allows for reflection and honest, conscious contributions that directly go to organizations the support the needs of the most marginalized in our community.
  3. As members of a race labeled as a “model minority”, we have a responsibility to partner with and advocate for black and brown communities. We have a long history of partnering with black and brown communities for social reform and need to continue to do so by using our platform to give communities of color a voice and to serve as advocates alongside them. In the words of Jeff Chang, we hope to “leave the space of representation open so that, although you’re very close to your subject, you’re also committed to not speaking on their behalf, in their place, or on top of them.”
  4. We hope that shining a spotlight on Asian American brands allows us to tell stories and offer opportunities for education for our customers. Eddie Huang pointed this out well in Fresh Off the Boat: “A lot of chefs are in a hurry to profit off of appropriated versions of ethnic food without any response, recognition, or understanding of where these flavors come from [...] Desire to educate our customers on where that flavor came from.” The clothes we highlight aren’t just a style choice. It’s an opportunity to tell a story and highlight groups that might not otherwise be seen.

By making a purchase to SASAI STUDIOS, you make an intentional decision to learn more about an organization, to donate to a cause with your purchase, and to be able to tell a story about the piece you purchased. In return, we pledge to ensure that a percentage of your money goes directly to supporting critical causes for the Asian American community or bridge gaps between communities of color. In doing so, you turn a consumer purchase into a moment of reflection–not only showcasing culture, but also advocating for our survival and upheaval of barriers and systems of harm.

It’s not just a box that we are checking off. It’s a key part of our everyday mission.