Meet Ryan Suda, The Man Behind Blacklava

Three years ago, 8Asians contributor Akrypti pretty much laid out the foundation & history of Blacklava and offered her rather “colorful” opinions about the Asian American clothing company.

As a good friend and collaborator with Ryan Suda, I felt that it was necessary to do a piece on him from my own perspective in order to get the full effect of what Blacklava was really about.  Several of you may view him as the guy who stands behind the booth at many major events trying to hustle and sell t-shirts, but I see him as somebody that has always been true to the cause and has never strayed away from his passion.  He spends countless hours in his warehouse working solely to create fresh branding ideas to promote Asian American artists, notable causes, and nonprofit organizations.

In this video, you will find out straight from the source how the company originated, as well as what it meant for Ryan to start a name brand that revolved around Asian American themes. When you see what Blacklava is all about, hopefully you’ll understand that it isn’t just a clothing company, but also a highly valuable resource to our community.

I want to give a special thanks to artist/actress Karin Anna Cheung (and her Pomeranian Chihuahua, “Roxy”) for volunteering her time to make a cameo and also to the Blacklava interns, Edward Hong (our very own 8asians contributor) and Nga Truong for helping me film this piece.

Please visit the improved and support your local AA artists by purchasing some of their merchandise!

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About Steve Nguyen

Steve Nguyen is a Vietnamese American director, writer, producer, and co-founder of Studio APA. Nguyen and director Choz Belen make up the Studio APA duo, specializing in the production of short films, animation, and music videos. Nguyen is the co-founder of, an online news source that started in 2008 which posts news updates and video interviews about Asian Americans in mainstream/independent media.
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