All About Eva

#En­gag­ing# Em­pow­er­ing #En­dear­ing. In­sta­gram’s fash­ion star is us­ing her in­flu­ence to cham­pion ris­ing tal­ent and push di­ver­sity dur­ing a defin­ing mo­ment.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By KATIE ABEL Pho­tographed by AN­NIE TRITT

In­sta­gram’s head of fash­ion part­ner­ships opens up about her mis­sion to sup­port ris­ing stars and push di­ver­sity.

In Eva Chen’s forth­com­ing chil­dren’s book, “Juno Valen­tine and the Mag­i­cal Shoes,” a young girl — named af­ter the au­thor’s grand­mother — dis­cov­ers the fa­mous footwear of il­lus­tri­ous women through­out his­tory.

Juno’s own non­de­script shoes have gone miss­ing, so she steps into pairs from Cleopa­tra, Mex­i­can artist Frida Kahlo, as­tro­naut Sally Ride, Ser­ena Wil­liams and Lady Gaga, among oth­ers.

“She’s in­spired by all th­ese amaz­ing trail­blaz­ers,” said Chen, the head of fash­ion part­ner­ships at In­sta­gram, who got to know both her il­lus­tra­tor and pub­lisher through the plat­form’s di­rect-mes­sage fea­ture.

Even­tu­ally, Juno de­cides she’s most con­tent in her own shoes — a key mo­ment that Chen hopes her daugh­ter Ren, 3, son Tao, 1, and many other kids will re­mem­ber.

It’s fit­ting that the so­cial me­dia pi­o­neer, who orig­i­nated the ubiq­ui­tous #evachen­pose, has writ­ten a book about one of her own ob­ses­sions. Chen coined the hash­tag years ago as a way to doc­u­ment her sig­na­ture shoe/ bag/fruit photo shoots in the back seat of New York taxi­cabs.

She was a must-fol­low on In­sta­gram from its in­cep­tion in 2010. And the for­mer Lucky mag­a­zine ed­i­tor-in-chief has been the of­fi­cial fash­ion force, and face, of the dig­i­tal phe­nom­e­non for the past three years.

With 800 mil­lion ac­tive monthly users, In­sta­gram has dra­mat­i­cally changed the way peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate and in­ter­act — and how they cre­ate and con­sume pho­tos and video. “You can find peo­ple who love some­thing, whether it’s fash­ion, food or slime, and tap into that com­mu­nity,” Chen quipped.

There’s no ques­tion that the plat­form has also changed the mar­ket­ing game — trans­form­ing so-called in­flu­encers into bank­able so­cial me­dia stars and paving the way for young tal­ent ea­ger to break in.

“You could be an aspir­ing shoe de­signer in Korea or a coat de­signer in Copen­hagen [Den­mark]. In­sta­gram has opened the door to an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence and cus­tomer base,” Chen said. “It’s lev­eled the play­ing field, and I in­clude [peo­ple and brands] like Vir­gil Abloh and Supreme in that. Some­thing that might have felt niche or rel­e­gated to streetwear or sneaker cul­ture can sud­denly take on this main­stream kind of huge­ness.”

Chen re­called the day that Abloh, the Off White founder and new artis­tic direc­tor of Louis Vuit­ton’s menswear, vis­ited In­sta­gram’s

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.