Eva Chen Talks Rihanna, Grumpy Cat And More In Her Reddit AMA
Social Media Director
It's no secret that Lucky editor-in-chief Eva Chen is not afraid of the wild, wild west that is social media. Her most recent conquest? Reddit, the social networking site that birthed Grumpy Cat and launched many a meme into Internet notoreity. Yesterday, she had her first-ever Ask Me Anything (AMA) in which she answered your questions live—and discussed everything from what she thinks of Rihanna's style to what she would buy with $100. Check out our favorite questions below, and see the complete AMA on Reddit.com.
Katienatie: I’m vaguely obsessed with your Instagram, but it always leaves me wondering: When do you eat the apple?
I usually eat the apple either at 11 AMish before I get REALLY RAVENOUS FOR LUNCH or around 3 PM as an afternoon snack!
Niconovito: What do you think makes a fantastic fashion writing? And who are your favorite fashion writers/critics?
I love it when people have original voices and opinions and they're not just, like, reporting on what happened in a straight-forward newsticker way. My favorite fashion writers include Robin Givhan, Cathy Horyn, Leandra Medine, and Imran from Business of Fashion. And, honestly, I love following people on Twitter as well to get a sense of their personality! I've discovered some great potential talent that way.
SJazreel: I just want to know, in the industry, is experience (i.e. internships) or qualifications (Master's degree etc.) more valued when looking for editorial or writing jobs?
Master's Degree: Not so much, although I have one. I got it when I was working at ELLE at the time and wanted to go "as a hobby" (that was ill-advised. Craziest 18 months of my life until I got this job at Lucky). It was a good experience though, in terms of learning to write quickly, identify the lede/kicker, etc. And I think if you are dying to go to graduate school, you should. There's something lovely about devoting yourself to learning. I wish I could go back to school still. Maybe for an MBA or Hogwarts.
In terms of the best preparation for working at a magazine, it's interning. It's a tough market for interning now as many companies are re-evaluating their programs. I'd advise starting local/small before coming to NYC for an internship.
And practice makes perfect. Write, write, write. Even if it's for yourself. You'll discover your voice and POV that way.
Bybare: What are your top travel skin/beauty favs that you can't leave NY without. Also how do you pack ALL of that?!
My toiletry bag is pretty impressive, I have to admit. Basically I have several (huge) Ziploc baggies at home of travel products and they're organized by category at home. And when I travel I put what I need in the toiletry bag and when I get home I resort them. Yes, it's a crazy system. So when I travel, I always bring the following:
- makeup wipes
- ridiculous amounts of body lotion since I have the driest skin in the world
- multi-use products like Nars The Multiple or Benetint
And I often pack products where I'm like 1 inch away from being done with them so that I can toss then while I travel. I don't know why, that makes me super happy.
Eversothea: Eva, THINK FAST! You have $100 to spend on a fashion-related object. What do you buy?
On one object? Well, geez, that's a hard question. I'd rather go to ASOS or Topshop and buy many objects: a pouch (use as a wallet or clutch), statement earrings or a cat watch (Charming Charlie has a good one), and a crop-top from Topshop to wear with my high-waisted skirt. The latter is an item I have on this very moment and basically I bought them in every color when I was in London. It was $18!
Effington: Any general advice for Asian-American women aspiring to be successful in industries such as fashion/entertainment/etc.?
SPEAK UP, DON'T UPTALK, AND BE THE SQUEAKY WHEEL!
Kellylarussa: What are some of your favorite jewelry brands under $100?
Oooh, so many! I love CatbirdNYC.com, I just discovered a new line called One Six Five jewelry—I got a great super thin band from them—and I have a chain necklace from Charming Charlie that is major. It looks like a giant ID bracelet. I haven't figured out when I'm wear that yet but I'm biding my time...
Birchbox: We are dying to know—how do you keep up with all of your social media accounts (including talking to all of your fans!) AND run an insanely successful style magazine?
Oh, haiiiii! Nice to see you on reddit, ladies! Well, honestly, I'm not sure how I do it all but I do? I suppose it helps that I genuinely love social media AND magazines so it doesn't ever really feel like work. And I find time to do both by just being structured about my hours... When I'm in a cab, for instance, that's prime tweeting/Instagram time. When I'm walking down the Lucky hallway, that's prime Instagram-stalking time. Did I say stalking? I meant... savoring :)
Freiburger16: Who is your favourite up-and-coming designer?
Ack, that is an impossible question because there are so many! I have been obsessed with the shoe designer Gianvito Rossi lately—his shoes are SO COMFORTABLE, I can basically jog in them. MSGM makes cool street wear that's in-between luxury-luxury and downtown-cool. Dion Lee I haven't had the pleasure of wearing yet, but I love how modern it is. Trademark is a brand everyone-everyone-everyone at Lucky LOVES and everything is under $500.
Frajar: Do you think spending more necessarily means better quality?
There are things in my closet from Zara and Topshop that I love as much as Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs. I think it's about looking for things that you think will last and you'll be able to wear for ages.
Danalista: What's your favorite thing about your new(ish) role as EIC?
Hmm, there are many, many things I love about my job but honestly nothing has been more satisfying than working with the stellar team at Lucky to make the changes to the magazine. Lucky is a magazine that I so loved when it launched and bringing a new perspective of street style and personal style to the magazine has been really gratifying. Every letter I get from a new reader basically is a testament to the team we work with—the photographers, stylists, models, editors... Go, Team Lucky!
Jushijuice: How does it feel to be not only one of the youngest, but also the first asian-american editor-in-chief of a well-known fashion magazine? Also, what are some classic pieces of clothing that every woman should have in her wardrobe?
It was very surreal in the beginning, to be honest. There were moments at fashion shows when I'd ask myself (in my mind, not out loud... not to sound crazy:)) "What am I doing here?" But I've gotten a bit used to it by now and, TBH, it's still pretty amazing/surreal. I would love for there to be more Asian-Americans in media/magazines. I'm involved with the AAJA. And I'm not the only one—there's also Janice Min and Joyce Chang. But hopefully more more more to come.
And every woman should have these things in their closet: *a "gee-whiz-I-look-great" dress that makes you feel like a million dollars. One that you can wear to the office and to a wedding, with the right accessories *a pair of high heels you can actually walk in that you can wear to the same events above. I'd suggest a classic pointy-toed pump or a minimalist sandal like Stuart Weitzman's Nudist
And I know these are not fashion but every woman needs a great concealer (sigh).
Hellohobbit: What are your absolute all-time favorite clothing pieces?
I have a Topshop moto jacket I bought almost a decade ago that I still wear all the time. It was black when I bought it and at this point it's basically a blackish-grey hue from being worn so much. I've worn it to black tie galas, I wear it on the weekends, I've worn it in pouring rain... Everywhere! I think I'll have it forever and I'm sure one day, if I ever have a daughter, she will steal if from me. I also love all the Marc Jacobs in my closet. He is one of my favorite designers of all time... I feel like he perfectly captures the energy and spirit of NYC.
Pinkrose398: I'm wondering what the magazine/traditional print media world thinks about bloggers?
Well, I probably have a different attitude towards bloggers than many (but not all) other magazine editors. I think that bloggers are new voices in writing and style and photography—and how could that ever be a bad thing? The people who are not so keen on bloggers might not be happy that they're sitting front row (in front of them) at shows. Or that they stop to take street style pictures. Whatever, they are bringing fashion/beauty to a whole new audience and the more in the conversation, the merrier. At Lucky, I love showing pictures of bloggers, including them as writers, featuring them, etc.
GegaB: Hi Eva, I love that you make time for reading on the weekends! What are the top 3 books you've read in the last few years?
I love the Miss Peregrine series, Art of Fielding was really good (was not expecting to like a book about BASEBALL), and I keep trying to read the JJ Abrams book but, oh boy, it's complicated and bits keep falling out. I use the hashtag #Saturdaybookclub on Instagram so you can follow along there!
Terrymtz: I know you're a skincare fiend, so have you tried any new items recently that have blown you away?
I started using a new line called Aurelia Skincare, it's English/organic/lovely and I am obsessed! I think it's only sold on Net-A-Porter. In terms of masks... so many. I just used Jurlique's Herbal Recovery last night. I don't know why I like it so much—maybe it's the little bubbles that burst on the skin that remind me of bubble tea? But it's very refreshing. Just like bubble tea. Darn, now I'm craving bubble tea.
Hoodrat_debauchery: I was wondering, how do you manage to do everything and still have hobbies outside of the office? And, how do you avoid burning out?
Burnout is a hazard for everyone in this day and age when we're connected 24-7-365. I think I stay sane by doing, um, very little on weekends that involve work. I try to save that time for friends and family on the weekends. Also, I try not to do too much at night. And I get—this is where people are going to like, WHAT?!—nine hours of sleep of night on average. Sleep = the secret.
Sarabee62: What is the one beauty product you cannot live without?
Eyelash curler. My lashes are straighter than a ruler.
Mosthighchoseme: I want to know what you think it takes to be the EIC of a top fashion magazine?
I think it takes an ability to listen, manage efficiently, and a great team. The last part is the most important. You are only as strong as your team and if you have a team you trust, you are able to work 10000% better. And I think having an open mind and curiosity are important too!
Smm2194: You travel so so much. How do you balance your personal life with such a demanding career? Also, what are you 5 most memorable/favorite restaurants?
I answered the first question of yours a few posts up. In terms of favorite restaurants, oh boy, you asked for it: *Maialino/NY *ABC Kitchen/NY *Shanghai Cafe/NY *Blockheads/LA *Sugarfish/LA *Gjelina/LA *Chipotle/EVERYWHERE :)
Lupebrown: As a former beauty editor, what are some of your favorite drugstore beauty/skincare products (particularly recommendations for anti-aging products for twenty-somethings)?
Well, start with prevention NOW. Wear SPF every day. I like Olay SPF 50. A few other drugstore goodies: *Neosporin Lip Renewal/overnight. So good. *Yes to Carrots face wipes *Simple face wipes *Maybelline Baby Lips *Covergirl mascara *Burt's Bees Milk and Honey lotion. Also, start using a retinol product 2x a week.
Auraee: Just wanted to ask.. what was the first luxury item you bought yourself and do you still use it? Also whats your favorite spot for bubble tea in NYC? :)
Kung Fu Tea is my favorite! And the first luxury item I ever bought for myself was a Gucci (it was the 2000) bucket hat. I actually ended up losing that hat when I was studying abroad in England and one of the signs that my husband was a keeper is that he literally retraced my steps to find the hat for me (and found it). He will probably be embarrassed that I told that story, but there you go.
Abigailrk: How did you meet your husband and how have you supported each other throughout your careers?
Tom and I met in college when I was studying abroad at Oxford University. He is my greatest supporter and generally the best thing since sliced scone (trying to stay on-theme since he's English). He is as busy—actually probably more so—so the support is 50/50 between both of us!
Tobyanne: If you could trade a day with somebody, who would you choose to be for one day and why?
I would trade lives with my dog because honestly he has the best life. Napping all day and pampered with love? Yes, please.
Lshic: On a scale of 1 to 10 ... how lucky are you?
Depends on the day. Today? 11 because I am having the best time on this AMA! On Mondays at 845 AM when I'm running late? -7.
The_modman: If you could re-write the ending to Game of Thrones (books and show), what would it be?
My personal POV on how the show will end is Daenarys and Jon Snow: A Song of Fire and Ice. They will live happily ever after and breed dragons for a living. I have a feeling that is not what is going to happen though, given the author's prediliction for sticky endings (case in point: Oberyn Martell)
DoyleStreet: I've noticed that you wear a jade bangle in all your photos...never saw you without it...what's the significance ?
My parents gave that to me when I was 20 and I haven't taken it off since because 1) I love my parents and it makes me think of them every time I see them and 2) because I physically can't take it off because I guess my hands have gotten bigger (or something) and it doesn't fit over my hand anymore. Ah well, good thing I love it.
Nicollem: Who is your female style crush and what's the best outfit you've seen on her to date?
Female style crush: Rihanna and her nearly-nekkid dress at the CFDA Awards. Listen, if you had a body like that, wouldn't you basically dip yourself in crystals and walk around naked as well? Hmmm...
Tacodiscopartyalways: Grumpy cat or dogs?
GRUMPY CAT FOR LIFE!
Woowhee: Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
One horse-sized duck. I'd distract it with stale bread and then capture it then with a lasso made out of adamantium.
User questions were shortened and edited.