INSTAGRAM'S NORTH STAR.
She's never had a master plan, but Eva Chen, current Head of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram, has had one hell of a career.
The fashion boss spent a decade running leading fashion publications, including Lucky and Teen Vogue, where she worked in various roles for eight years, chiefly as the teenage fashion magazine’s beauty editor. During her time at the glossy, she finessed her digital savvy and grew her own social media (now 600k), before joining IG in 2015.
She's worked under the masterful Anna Wintour, is heralded by the Business of Fashion as one of the 500 hand-selected people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry.
Name: Eva Chen
You're fluent in the language of fashion. With your move to IG to you feel more fluent in the language of tech?
I am barely proficient in the language of tech and look forward to becoming more fluent. The team here at Instagram is wonderful and so inspiring to learn from.
What has surprised you most about being a woman in the tech sector?
Facebook has been an incredibly supportive place to work, especially as a mom to two young kids. And having women in positions of authority, like IG COO Marne Levine and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, is very important to me.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
People who stand on moving walkways at the airport.
What would you consider your superpower?
Ability to function despite prolonged sleep deprivation from children.
From pre-med to Lucky to Instagram. What has been the most surprising element of your career?
I've never had a master plan, I've always just gone where opportunities have arisen.
What has proven to be the biggest bump in the road?
My inability to say 'no'....
And how did you get over it?
Working on it for 2018!
Is there an early-on piece of advice that Anna Wintour gave you that you ignored?
No—Anna has the really vexing quality of pretty much being right about everything, at least in my personal experience.
What about your career makes you feel the most complete?
When I can help someone understand how to use Instagram better!
If you had to trade jobs with anyone else in the world, who would it be and why?
I don't want to trade with Oprah, but I'd love to meet her simply to absorb some of her magic.
At what point in your career did you find the confidence to really take charge and become the woman you are today?
Working on it! I think part of becoming an adult is realizing that life is an ongoing work in progress.