(Op-Ed written for Campaign US)

The past several years haven’t been easy for our industry.

In an environment where kneeling respectfully for one’s belief and wearing a mask for public health can attract outcries, where lip-servicing patronizing support can be called out, it is not surprising that the ad industry stays neutral by remaining silent. We are used to acting as brand stewards, relying on measuring success on positivity quotient, KPI, and ROI. We are trained to guide the brands to shy away as much as possible from controversy. However, as events of social and racial injustices refuse to disappear…

Intertrend is going to be in the NYTimes and LATimes this Sunday. I am personally calling for the attention it deserves.

“I Am 84”

When the pandemic hit us last year and our staff began to experience some incidents of Asian racism, we started an initiative called Make Noise Today. At that time, we felt that the best approach to combat racism was to take control of our own narratives to create empathy — the idea of Narrative Plenitude — that as Asians we don’t all fit a single story and we need to bust ourselves out of Narrative Scarcity.

couriers of hope. An envelope art exhibition

My first ever piece of “real” art I bought was a Keith Haring. This makes it sound like I’m some loaded patron of the art but I was (am) not. I was working as an entry level product planner with 2/3 of my salary going towards rent in the City. It was because I saw this nerdy guy in a pair of huge glasses running from the police in a New York subway station after chalk-painting on the wall/floor. His style of work was so vivid and unforgettable that when I saw a…

Label artwork by Kate Maleki

The idea for Honor Ruth ice cream came to us as we were mourning the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s difficult to articulate how much we owe Justice Ginsberg. She was a warrior. She took on all challenges head on. She inspired all of us, women and men alike, by her courage, her bravery and her character. She got to work everyday with all her might, never making any excuses to slack off. She became an example for all of us by reminding us that we must continue to fight for our freedom and our ideals.

Narrative scarcity always felt personal.

I first came across the term “narrative plenitude” while reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Nothing Ever Dies. Even then, “scarcity” was what resonated. Given my background, it made sense. As an Asian immigrant not quite fitting into the usual first-generation immigrant mold; as a businessperson giving myself a cookie-cutter multicultural background so as to be more readily accepted; as a Taiwanese American growing up not in Taiwan, but in Japan; and as a non-Chinese American immersed, through education and politics, in Chinese culture — I constantly searched for stories I identified with, in vain.

There isn’t…

Julia Y. Huang

President/CEO Intertrend

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