UPRISERS® presents Embracing Cultural Identity

May 10, 2024UPRS Team

AAPI-founded lifestyle brand releases a t-shirt dedicated to the 112 year history of the Japanese immigrant-founded Southern California Flower Market as part of a community event embracing cultural identity on Saturday, May 18th at the PacSun Flagship store in downtown Los Angeles.

“In a rapidly developing downtown we don’t know if the flower district will continue to exist. For the past five years I have worked with my team to document and tell the story of a piece of history that could have gone overlooked. It is my hope that this contribution to historic preservation will shed light on our history before it gets displaced by rising rents and inflation. The more we are a part of this story the more we recognize how complex and messy it is to solve. The solutions are all imperfect but there’s value in trying and that’s what makes our community so beautiful.” — founder of UPRISERS and 4th generation Japanese and Okinawan American, Michelle K. Hanabusa

On Saturday, May 18th, community leaders, small business owners and AAPI communities will gather to support a curated small business market and participate in a discussion around cultural identity, historic preservation and their desired contributions to the cultural fabric of legacy. Moderator Frank Shyong, columnist for the LA Times, will lead a panel discussion with Chef Tuệ Nguyễn, content creator and activist Asia Jackson, and lifestyle brand founder Erick de Vera. The small business market includes vendors such as Squigs Beauty, the first South Asian brand in Ulta, Filipino-owned drinks Narra, Japanese and LGBTQ florist Gabby Sage Masuda, and fresh coconut beverages with Cocodealers.

A percentage of proceeds will benefit Kizuna —a 501(C)3 non-profit organization building a future for the community through the education, empowerment, and engagement of the next generation.



UPRISERS presents Embracing Cultural Identity will take place on Saturday, May 18th. from 12-3pm and will include a panel discussion with AAPI community leaders, a local marketplace curated by community partner Asian Founded, and City Pop sounds by DJ Tsugu. The event is free to the public but RSVP through Partiful is strongly encouraged to receive the latest updates and information. 




Moderator: Frank Shyong is a second generation Taiwanese American columnist for the Los Angeles Times writing about diversity and diaspora in Los Angeles.   

Panelist: Chef Tuệ Nguyễn is Vietnamese immigrant and co-owner of ĐiĐi. One of the fastest rising stars in the culinary space Tuệ gained widespread recognition by sharing captivating recipe videos online and hosting sold-out restaurant pop-ups across the nation with the likes of The h.Wood Group, Family Style Festival, ComplexCon, Madame Vo in NYC, and chef Roy Choi. 

Panelist: Asia Jackson is a Los Angeles-based content creator and social justice activist. Identifying as a African-American and Indigenous Filipino, Asia passionately explores the realms of beauty, fashion, and culture at the intersection of race and identity. Her work has been featured in NBC News, Vogue, TIME Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan

Panelist: Erick de Vera is a Filipino immigrant and the founder of Gardens & Seeds, a lifestyle brand that thrives off mindfulness, purpose, & passion for the arts. The brand shares its faith and values towards building a nurturing, positive, & open-minded community from all cultural backgrounds.

DJ Tsugu is a Japanese immigrant from Kumamoto, Japan. Tsugu’s play style bridges the gap between Japanese artists and Western listeners and introduces once Japan exclusive genres like City Pop to audiences across the US. His company We Share Records offers a diverse selection of records, including sought-after Japanese imports. 

Thank you to our community partner Asian Founded — a mission-forward agency connecting the world to AAPI brands, for your thoughtful curation to curate a marketplace with local AAPI vendors and to the Ohara School of Ikebana Los Angeles Chapter for the floral arrangements by Kyoko Oshiro.



UPRISERS® is a female founded lifestyle brand and story-driven platform dedicated to a sustainable future. Reimagining the traditional life cycle of seasonal collection drops are inspired by collections that are released in parallel with AAPI community’s traditions and lived experiences. UPRISERS is dedicated to building a more sustainable future with their groundbreaking UPRS 2.0 — an intersection of environment and community sustainability that utilizes existing materials and historical artifacts to remake new designs into limited edition capsules that seamlessly blend cultures, designs, communities and materials. For more information about UPRISERS schedule of events and releases during the month of May, please click here.


Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michelle K. Hanabusa is a 4th generation Japanese and Okinawan American and is the Founder & Designer of LA based lifestyle brand UPRISERS®. She is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning AAPI community advocate. UPRISERS, founded in 2019 and dedicated to the discovery of untold stories, is distributed in over 300+ stores across North America and has business partnerships with over a dozen global brands including Netflix and Panda Express. Michelle’s advocacy for community storytelling in the streetwear space has been recognized by ABC News, WWD, Business Insider, NBC Sports, Complex and many more. She has been invited to speak to universities, museums and industry events about her ongoing R&D work to reduce waste in the fashion industry as well as female entrepreneurship in male dominated spaces.