August 07, 2015 / by Allison Richard

“It is difficult to talk about fashion in the abstract, without a human body before my eyes…without a practical or visual reality,” fashion design emperor Giorgio Armani said during a 2012 CNN interview. Speaking through a translator, Milan’s master tailor was responding to a question of how he would describe his brand’s look and image. If the design house isn’t already, perhaps they’ll be in touch soon with Eva Chen, a renowned influencer who’s bridging the abstract into the practical and visual, through the universal language of style.

As the head of fashion partnerships for Instagram – a newly minted position – Chen is technically tasked with spearheading fashion brand relationships for the photo and video-sharing network, and loosely tasked with partnering her passions for social media and style. In the immortal words of anchorman Ron Burgundy, Chen’s appointment is “kind of a big deal” for the fashion community.

To call Chen an Instagram maven is an understatement.  She embraced and mastered early on some of the most tried and true tips for engaging audiences on the platform, so much that she finds herself providing friends with unofficial tutorials on best practices, according to an interview with Mashable. A majority of her more than 7,000 posts are her trademark #evachenpose shots, featuring a daily pairing of shoes and handbags, accessorized with fresh fruit, from the backseat of her taxi commutes. All brands, including fruit vendors, get shout outs in the shots via tags. Along with her product faves and her adorable infant daughter’s latest fashion finds, Chen’s images have become the equivalent of a morning daily tossed at the door steps of fashion lovers on Instagram – with a circulation of 412,000 and counting.

Eva Chen

Chen announces her pregnancy with the #evachenpose in 2014

“It’s a new position and a natural next move for me,” Chen told Mashable. “I’ll be working closely with stylists, designers, up-and-comers with fun activations and finding new ways to tell fashion stories.”

Not that she wasn’t telling great style stories before her. Three months before joining Instagram, Chen left an almost two-year post as editor in chief of Lucky magazine, where she was the youngest and first Asian-American editor in chief for Conde Nast. She had previously been selected by Anna Wintour to be a consulting editor for the magazine, after positions as a special projects and beauty and health director as well as columnist with the publisher.

StyleBlazer observed of her editorial style, “Part of her open-table strategy comes from a personal obsession with social media – Chen is ALL over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, sharing behind-the-scenes office shots and letting Lucky fans into her world in a way that seems much more inviting than many of her contemporaries.” With Chen at the helm, the publication’s aim was noted by Forbes as “keep[ing] the accessible and friendly voice that Lucky was born with…but creat[ing] a more intimate connection with her readers.”

Eva Chen 3

While at Lucky, she highlighted style bloggers and fellow Instagram doyennes Chiara Ferragni, Nicole Warne and Zanita Whittington with a cover feature. The cover was a first for the magazine that gave a noticeable nod in print publishing to the many personal brands built online.

And now years of building her own brand as a fashion powerhouse have led Chen to truly bask in the visual splendor of Instagram, a platform that her name has almost become synonymous with. As with her timeless ensembles of brand recognition and social media prowess, the Eva Chen pose – stylistically and professionally – continues to be captured, shared and craved by thousands.

Images: Eva Chen Instagram

Are you ready to start using Instagram for your brand? Check out our “10 Tips to Make Instagram Your Most Effective Social Channel” tip sheet!

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About Allison Richard

Allison Richard writes features and leads international content for Cision Blog. She oversees east Asian media for the research department, which suits her perfectly as she loves languages and culture. She also likes yoga, useless trivia, painting and comedy, in no particular order. Follow her on Twitter at @AllieTimes.