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.
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