Hazine

04.02.2016 - Katherine Koniecki

Fashion People

EVA’S CULTURE CLAN

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FASHION EDITOR NOW? EVA CHEN HAS SPEARHEADED THE MOVEMENT. CONNECTED, SELF AWARE AND APPROACHABLE, SHE HAS RENDERED THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING ZEITGEIST THAT IS HERE TO STAY.

Her shoes, her bag and a snack – a trademark photo composition that dots Eva Chen’s Instagram imprint. As former Lucky Magazine Editor in Chief, her first Instagram and Twitter posts of the day would happen in this matrix, like a morning ritual, during her daily taxi ride through the streets of New York to her Condé Nast outpost in Times Square. Furiously connected, Chen was hand plucked by Anna Wintour in 2013 to revive Lucky into “what a modern fashion magazine should be”. Her media and tech savvy strategy boomed Lucky’s readership out from the trenches alongside the launch of a cash cow to converge with the printed publication, an e-commerce platform called Lucky Shops. Quick industry changes met Chen with a new taxi route to work in July 2015 as she was hand plucked yet again; this time by Instagram as Head of Fashion Partnerships. Her communication cross pollination keeps her orchestrating the media megalith and her understated cool keeps her at the fore of cultural and style connectivity, on and offline.

LUCKY FIRST

Chen least likely expected herself to be working in fashion, especially during her pre-med track at Johns Hopkins University, en route to becoming a doctor. A serendipitous internship at Harper’s Bazaar one summer was the fuel to kick start her story. After three years at Elle Magazine, she took up a job as Beauty Editor at Teen Vogue. Between her column at Vogue China and writing for the Wall Street Journal, Chen was racking up media experience alongside a hefty social media following. While living briefly in L.A., the native New Yorker was offered a consulting gig for Lucky. With a waning foothold in the ever-growing publishing mega storm, Lucky had fallen back and Chen was challenged to apply her digital vein to revive the magazine into one that women in their 20s and 30s could connect with. At 33, Chen became the youngest Editor in Chief of an American fashion magazine and her influential, and highly approachable, potency became a phenomenon by the name of the “Eva Effect”.

CONNECTING THE SHOTS

She felt rewarded knowing that she is doing her job well when she would receive personal phone calls from designers thanking her for choosing their dress for Lucky’s pages, a feature she grew to be so influential that a single mention would result in an additional 3,000 unit sales. Manu Atelier, a Turkish handbag line that launched in 2014, had a firsthand experience with the Chen’s pervasive effect. One typical morning Eva Chen Instagram post captured a Manu Atelier purse and caused an instant clear out of the designer’s inventory. A hail storm of frantic emails from buyers wanting to purchase the goods followed suit. As an Editor, buyer and curator during her Lucky Magazine days, Chen wore all the hats while being a fan of smashing through the fashion hierarchy in favour of putting forth bits of personal insight with which her readers could connect. If she could share behind-the-scene insight from beauty industry pros or a Guggenheim gala moment when Lady Gaga hatched out of an egg, she did it. It was the newsworthy insight and accessible editorial voice that she was passionate about evoking through that one-on-one connectivity.

NEXT MOVE INSTAGRAM

Things move at lightning speed in the media industry and Lucky Magazine’s 2015 Condé Nast break-off announcement stirred a buzz. After navigating Lucky Shops into the momentous digital seascape, Chen’s eventual position as Chief Creative Officer for Lucky Group shifted too. Her well trained adaptability as a media purveyor launched her directly into Instagram’s New York headquarters. As Instagram’s new Head of Fashion Partnerships as of July 2015, her role excludes conventional advertising and brand sponsorship work, which flexes her witty skills to catch shots side by side designers like Christopher Kane, Donatella Versace and model Hanne Gaby Odiele decked in an Instagram hoodie. In other times, she’s holding brainstorming sessions in the headquarters’ mini conference room with Donna Karan and Jason Wu, which fills quirky headspaces with huge ambitions as she shapes the scene while breathing a higher order of fresh air into living connectivity.

Short Facts

Trademark

Her black bob and mixed up personal style of high street and designer merges with her highly relatable personal voice. She’s an advocate of being yourself. Her Instagram account is dotted with a few Eva Chen black cab fixtures that give her away. At 33, she was made the youngest Editor in Chief of an American fashion publication. 

Distinctiveness

She strips back the cliché of the high glam Editor persona and has made approachability her viable mark as an industry role model. She’s backstage at the Golden Globes and front row at every fashion show and her collected and approachable personality keeps her following growing. 

Awards and Recognition

Her dedication to carving out a digital fingerprint led her to create FABB – Lucky’s Fashion and Beauty Blog Conference, which connects models, designer, bloggers and stylists. She has also spoken on a number of panels including tech conferences at SXSW and was on the ‘8 Women to Watch’ list by Business Insider. 

Anecdote

An average Eva Chen Instagram post will receive over 600 likes in ten minutes. Her followers will ask her everything from beauty product advice to where she got her belt and she makes a point to answer every question personally.

Timeline

1981 - Born

Eva Chen is born in Greenwich Village in New York City to a Taiwanese mother and father from Shanghai. 

2002 - Bazaar

Eva lands an internship at Harper’s Bazaar, followed by a gig as a Beauty Writer at Elle.  

2007 - Beauty

She lands a job as Beauty Editor for Teen Vogue. 

2012 - Sunny Coast

She moves to Los Angeles with her husband for a brief time before being offered a consulting job at Lucky Magazine.

2013 - Back to NY

Under her new title as Editor in Chief of Lucky Magazine, Eva is launched into a challenge to revive the magazine’s readership and online e-commerce site. 

2014 - CFDA

She hosts the Parisian Breakfast for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists.

2015 - Instagram Swap

After successfully launching Lucky Shops, Chen leaves Lucky Group after receiving an offer as Head of Fashion Partnerships for Instagram.

Photo:

© Imaxtree

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