By now you’ve surely heard that Eva Chen is the new editor-in-chief of Lucky. The first high profile print editor to come from the internet generation has had a pretty interesting journey to get to where she is today, and it’s a journey that’s worth a closer look for anyone hoping to break into fashion (or any career, really!).
Chen sat down with Lucky‘s senior digital editor Elana Fishman and dished out her (professional) life story. Here are a few moves Chen made that are worth noting and yes, copying:
• If you don’t love what you’re doing, take a break:
Chen was in the pre-med program at Johns Hopkins, which is one of the most prestigious in the nation. But she got burned out and decided to take some time off. “By the end of my junior year, I was a little burnt out, since pre-med at Hopkins is pretty intense, so I decided to take the summer off and do something just for fun,” Eva said. “So I applied to about 10 internships, cold-emailing HR places and companies. I applied to advertising agencies, publishing houses, even MTV!” And guess what? One stuck. An internship at Harper’s Bazaar essentially gave her the foot in the door she needed. Risks can be scary, but, if you don’t take them, you can wind up locked into a career you don’t want.
• Be aggressive and reach out for what you want–no one is going to just give it to you:
After graduating from college, Chen took a job at a law firm because there were no magazine jobs available. She realized on day two that a law firm wasn’t for her, so she got busy reaching out to everyone she knew in the industry. And that’s how she landed her first gig…
• Work for someplace you’ve never heard of:
…which was at Lucky, writing credits. At the time, Lucky was a mere glimmer in Condé’s eye. “I sent emails out to everyone I’d met during my summer interning, and Joane Amay invited me to come work with her at ‘a new startup magazine about shopping,’” Eva said. “I quit the law firm immediately and came to Lucky to work on credits with her. I learned every single brand, every designer…” In a start-up situation, everyone has to pitch in and do everything, so you learn a lot and can really get your hands dirty.
Now go out there and start taking some risks. We’re pretty sure Eva will be taking lots more in what is sure to be a long and stellar career.