As a follower of all things fashion, you likely don't need us telling you that Eva Chen has one of the most admired careers in the industry. The New York–born daughter of first-generation immigrants went from aspiring to a career in medicine ("I always just kind of thought I'd end up a doctor," she told us) to becoming the editor in chief of Lucky, the new head of fashion partnerships for Instagram, and one of the most widely recognised figures at every fashion week the world over.
So when we got the opportunity to sit down for an interview with Chen, it seemed only natural that the topic top of mind for us was career success: How did Eva Chen become who she is, and how does she advise that young people begin their own successful careers?
"My number one piece of advice is, to quote Nike, to just do it," Chen told us. "I think plenty of people overthink career moves—or they underthink them. They’ll overthink it and be like, 'I feel weird about emailing people I’ve never met; I don’t want to do that!' On that same token, it’s a brand of underthinking if you're naive enough to think that if you send out one piece of paper with your name on it, you’re gonna get the job."
Chen elaborated, "Be prepared and know that you have to cast a lot of lines before someone bites. You have to have a pretty thick skin; if you email 100 people and 10 of them write you back, that’s not bad. Of those 10 people, five of them you won’t hear back from [after their first emails]. Of the last five, two of them might be like, 'Sure I’ll help you,' and then they write back six months later. You really just need one person to write back and help open that door for you. Don’t take things personally."
There you have it, whippersnappers: Reach out to as many people as possible when applying for internships or jobs, and don't be afraid of rejection. It's going to happen; your task is to be tough enough to not let it deter you. Well said, we think!
Keep scrolling to see (and shop) some of our favourite Eva Chen looks lately!
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