Former Lucky editor in chief Eva Chen is joining Instagram to develop fashion partnerships.
Chen will report to the head of Instagram Partnerships, WWD has learned, and her role will not include any advertising sponsorship work with brands. With her sizeable social media following (392,000 Instagram followers and 125,000 Twitter followers), the role appears to be a natural fit for the former magazine editor, who regularly posts and tags photos of her favorite products on the photo sharing app.
Chen, who resigned from Lucky in April, broke the news of her new gig and title as head of fashion partnerships via her personal Instagram Friday morning along with a photo of her in Instagram’s New York headquarters.
Kevin Systrom, chief executive of Instagram, commented on Chen’s post: “So excited to welcome you to the team. Looking forward to working together and redefining the valley’s notion of ‘business casual.” (Laughing crying emoji included).
A spokeswoman from Instagram made an official statement: “Eva understands all sides of the fashion community — from the craft of couture to street style, style icons to aspiring models, and storied fashion houses to emerging designers.”
Chen will start later this month in Instagram’s New York City office.
Although Chen has an editorial background with stints at Lucky and Teen Vogue, her latest gig as editor in chief of Lucky gave her further insight into the world of product partnerships. That experience came when Condé Nast spun off Lucky last year in a joint venture with e-commerce firm Beachmint to form the Lucky Group. Essentially, Chen took on the hybrid role of merchant in chief, as Lucky transitioned from a consumer magazine to something akin to an e-tailer, as the company holds inventory in its warehouse. In addition to editor, Chen juggled several jobs including merchandiser, writing copy, fulfillment and other back-end gigs. Sources told WWD that the frantic pace wasn’t sustainable, and it played a role in Chen’s departure. After the editor left, Lucky folded its print operations in June.
Despite Lucky’s chaotic pace, Chen did get a taste of brand partnership work, which will likely come in handy at Instagram.