Legendary editor Eva Chen – you have probably seen her name in some of the most world-recognized magazines, from Harper’s Bazaar to Lucky, or spotted her hanging out with the likes of Kendall Jenner at the MET Gala – is now taking over the world of social media one post at a time as the boss of all things fashion at Instagram. So these days you will also likely see her on the social media platform attending stylish fashion “meetings” with celebrities at the famous mini room at Instagram’s headquarters in New York City, where she had Donatella Versace come in and redecorate the space with the label's iconic scarf print. (Did we also mention that she convinced Donatella herself to finally sign up on IG?)
We paid Eva a visit at Facebook NY, where she operates, to sit down for one fun and veeery interesting girlchat – read on to hear her thoughts on everything from launching a fashion career to how to become a truly effective influencer on Instagram.
SCROLL DOWN FOR EVA'S TOP INSTAGRAM TIPS
Eva and Donatella Versace sip tea in Instagram's mini conference room Photo: Instagram/@evachen212
HOLA! USA: Tell us about a day in the life of Eva Chen…
Eva Chen: "One of the best things about this job is that every day is different. Some days are really unglamorous and I am sitting in front of a computer all day – and others I have all kinds of people visiting me at the office, models, designers, it-girls, magazine editors, celebrities, etc. My job is to work with people in the fashion industry and tell their story, help them understand how to use Instagram in a better way. I love stalking their accounts before they come in so I can tell them the best ways to improve it."
Does it also work this way during fashion week?
"That is when it gets crazy and very exhausting, but it is also a very important time as designers now tend to focus even more on the social media aspect of their show and how it can always grow through Instagram."
Fashion nowadays is pretty much accessible for everyone. Do you think it has lost that sense of exclusivity?
"It used to be for a small group of people only, but with the arrival of Instagram, brands now make their followers feel like they’re part of the process; they feel like they’re present and living that moment even if they are on the other side of the world. It almost feels more democratic. Even the world’s most exclusive brands – I’m talking Alaïa, Chanel, Céline, Givenchy, Dior and so on –are using IG for storytelling and that way they reach new audiences. It’s an amazing way to unify the masses into things that they have in common.
"It’s also a great opportunity to discover a lot about what you like and what you don’t. I didn’t even know that I was going to work in fashion in my 20s! So Instagram would have definitely helped on that."
Social media and fashion expert Eva practicing her viral 'giraffe' pose Photo: Instagram/@evachen212
Fashion without Eva Chen? I can’t really imagine that. So what did you want to be in your 20s?
"My parents are immigrants, they came from Taiwan and China in the 1970’s, so my instinct was always try to find a job that was stable because your parents want you to have something that is reliable, so I went to school for medicine. I always thought I’d be a doctor or a pediatrician just because I loved science. In my junior year in college, I decided to take a fun internship in the summer and ended up working at the beauty department at Harper’s Bazaar in New York. I loved it so much that as soon I graduated from college, I landed my first job at Elle, then Teen Vogue, Vogue China and The Wall Street Journal until I became the editor-in-chief of Lucky Magazine and I eventually I ended up here."
So what do young people need to know about venturing into a fashion career?
"That it is really important not to have a set destination – you have to allow your life to go where it’s supposed to go. The more you experiment, the richer it gets for you as you gain more experience. Do homework and research. Instagram is the perfect tool for that, as whatever you want to do or whoever you want to be, there is always an example on this platform."
'You have to allow your life to go where it's supposed to go,' said Eva, seen here with actress Eva Mendes Photo: Getty Images
Who is Eva Chen following on Instagram?
"There are so many! I follow like 1,200 accounts. Obviously, Victoria Beckham and Michelle Obama are a must. I also love following Gucci, they work with community members a lot and new artists that collaborate with [creative director] Alessandro Michele. I like a brand that takes risks like that."
EVA CHEN'S EXPERT INSTAGRAM TIPS:
1) Have an opinion. "Say what’s important and make an impact even if you have 10, 50 or 5 million followers. Make your voice be heard, especially if you’re a woman. It’s too important of a time for women not to make a point about what goes on, about their body, thoughts or things they want to do. Be defiant."
2) Post more. "The second thing is to post more, because most people follow hundreds of accounts on IG, and they open the app around 35 times a day, so you want to make sure your content is always seen."
3) Be yourself. "Don’t try to be someone else! You don’t have to have a certain lifestyle, just let your personality come through and don’t overthink too much, don’t be so precious with it as people will only consume seconds of it."
4) Use geo tags and hashtags. "A lot of people don’t use the geo tags to say where they are but millions of people follow hashtags and locations so you get a full new audience."
5) Avoid her biggest big no-no. "I really dislike it when people take one big photo on Instagram and cut it up into a lot of smaller pictures, and sometimes when you’re scrolling you see like one elbow, one piece of the nose or one leg. I don’t like that because it’s really not a good experience for the followers. People always forget that it’s about telling a story and showing someone’s elbow doesn’t tell you anything. Especially because very few people pay attention to how a profile looks overall – the engage is in the single post."