Former Lucky Magazine editor-in-chief Eva Chen is joining Instagram to head fashion partnerships. The move from print to digital not only affirms tech's disruption of the fashion industry- an evolution that we have noted here at TFG time and again- but it also solidifies Instagram's rightful place as a major driver in fashion. With fashion bloggers and influencers all around the world single-handedly driving sales of the latest fashion trends with one photo, Instagram has, in many ways, replaced the glossy pages of fashion magazines. No longer are consumers as driven by elaborate fashion spreads with unattainably beautiful models. The millennial purchasing behavior is driven more by the accessible, yet still aspirational, influencer and blogger. The viral fashion mavens' seemingly spontaneous photographs capture a street style that appeals more for the day-to-day. One Instagram post can show consumers how to pair that high-end bag with an H&M dress. One photo can show the latest fashion "IT" item or emerging brand to millions of followers in a matter of seconds. In many ways, Instagram is indirectly responsible for bringing fashion more to life and making it more wearable. This kind of accessibility and efficiency cannot be achieved by magazines.
Image Courtesy of @evachen212
This decision has made it clear that Instagram recognizes its leverage in fashion and is clearly attempting to monetize the multi-billion dollar industry. The company needs a leader at the helm like Eva, who "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." Eva Chen clarified that her new role is "not an editorial role," but a "partnerships role" that requires "an editorial eye and ability to curate."
The news is a major development for the cross-section of fashion and technology. With all the metrics and strategy that went behind the decision, it's clear that "[a]t the heart of [this new partnership], it's the love of fashion, brands, stylists, and influencers and finding their stories." And from a tech and social media perspective, it's the love of an online community of sharers. We here at TFG consider this a match made in fashion tech heaven and look forward to seeing what Eva Chen does with her new digital role.