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Eva Chen on the positive influence of Instagram

Eva Chen swapped her career in print journalism to become Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships and now teaches businesses how to up their game on social media.


Talking to woman with drive at Sydney’s Vivid Festival, the New York based Instagram queen discussed how she gets the most out of the popular app while also sharing her tips on improving your social media status.


“I help models, designers, stylists, fashion publications and brands tell their Instagram story better,” says Eva Chen who worked at Elle, Teen Vogue and as editor of Lucky magazine prior to embarking on her new role in 2015.


“It was a really natural transition for me and I don’t feel it’s that different from what I was doing at the magazine,” she says.


“As a magazine editor your job is to get the best work out of your feature writers, your stylists and the photographers you work with on behalf of the magazine. Now I feel like I’m doing the same thing but I’m encouraging them to do the best they can for their own Instagram’s.”


The mother of two has 947,000 followers on Instagram and will release her first children’s book Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes in November. She uses Instagram to document her day-to-day life – be it a fashion post or social event she’s attending, but she’s just as eager to post about her kids Ren and Tao using the hashtag #evachenpose in her pursuit of modern mothering.


She’s all for using hashtags and says your Instagram accounts [business and personal] should make use of them [just don’t bastardise your post by using too many] and posting regularly is also a wise choice.


“People think hashtags are not visually pleasing because they clutter, but the reality is that millions of people are using hashtags,” says Chen.


“If you think about #OOTD, millions of people use it every day. I’m a huge reader and #bookstagram has been used 28 million times. So if you use hashtags properly you can connect with a global audience. You can now follow hashtags. For example I follow the hashtag #bookstagram so anytime someone uses the hashtag it will show up in my feed,” she says.





For Chen, social media tools like Instagram have made it possible to discover fashion brands you may not have otherwise heard of. She admits if it wasn’t for following reputed influencers such as Nicole Warne and Margaret Zhang in Australia, she wouldn’t know about some labels they wear.


“Instagram has made the world a smaller place and I do believe it has taken down the velvet rope of fashion,” says Chen.


“You could live anywhere and feel like you’re part of the fashion community now, and if you’re following editors and stylists, you can get a little sense of fashion education and understand what they do a bit better,” she says.


“It has also made the fashion world a more inclusive place because nowadays if a designer chooses to show a runway that’s only one type of girl, you know you’re going to become a hostage and you’ll get called out,” she says.


“Instagram is making the fashion world a kinder more diverse place and has ensured that everyone can be represented and that there’s a seat at the table for everyone.”


Chen also has advice for brands wanting to survive the new retail landscape.


“The future of fashion is really about creating an emotional connection with your customers,” she says.


“You don’t want to feel like you’re being sold to. You want to feel a true genuine connection to the brand that you are choosing to spend your money on. I think brands have to do a better job of creating that, and not just doing it for the sake of it, but really investing in a relationship with their customers and their followers,” says Chen.

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