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How Fashion People are Transitioning Into a Career in Tech

Learn from Eva Chen, Derek Blasberg, and Alex Taylor.
How Fashion People are Transitioning Into a Career in Tech
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/evachen212, derekblasberg
Learn from Eva Chen, Derek Blasberg, and Alex Taylor.

With publishing going full speed into digital, more and more careers are making a shift from print to web. If you’re a passionate fashionista who’s looking to break into the tech world, read on to find out more about these people who are taking their fashion expertise into the wonderful world wide web.

Eva Chen is a fashion week front row frequenter; an editor who has worked on global titles such as Harper’s BazaarElleTeen Vogue, and Lucky (as its editor in chief, no less); and since 2015, head of fashion partnerships at Facebook-owned Instagram.

What started out as something she genuinely loved doing—that is to help people tell their story on the social media platform—turned into a career shift for her. So, what exactly does Chen do at Instagram? Much like her work as an editor of a magazine, where she put together stories through the pages of an editorial, she likens her work at Instagram to helping fashion people (whether personalities or brands) create content for their own magazine—their Instagram accounts! She and her team show what kind of content can be created on the platform and work with them to map out a strategy for their Instagram presence.

You’ll see Chen go on Instagram Live to show style stars around the Instagram office, interview them in the mini-conference room, and document everything on her Instagram stories. 

YouTube recently announced that they’ve hired Derek Blasberg to lead their fashion and beauty partnerships division. The CNN Style host will be working closely with YouTube’s VP for content partnerships Kelly Merryman. The former editor and columnist is tasked to build relationships with high-profile personalities and brands from the fashion and beauty industry to help them engage their audience on the Google-owned platform.

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While Blasberg hasn’t been on board as long as Chen, it’s possible that his role will be a lot similar to hers. His TV background will definitely work to his advantage as YouTube is typically used for more longform type of videos as opposed to the bite-sized snippets we see on Instagram. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’s got a lot of friends in fashion and beauty, who he can talk into creating content for YouTube.

He writes on Instagram, “Today, YouTube features countless videos that are entirely devoted to fashion, beauty, culture, and self-expression. They reach an international audience instantly and directly, wherever they are. I’m excited about this newly created role and honored to connect content creators with industry leaders, bringing to life compelling stories that explore and celebrate these worlds I hold so dear.”

Alex Taylor, who made it to Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016, was the former President of Digital and Executive Editor of Clique Media Group (CMG), the publisher of digital publications Who What WearByrdieMy DomaineThe/ThirtyCollege Fashionista, and the social-only network for Gen Z girls Obsessee. Her career started in Vogue, where she assisted editors in photo shoots, did research, organized the fashion closet among other things. Before joining CMG, she led the strategic partnerships for fashion and beauty at Google and launched Shoppable Hangouts.

In 2015, she joined CMG as its executive director for strategy and content. She worked with CEO and co-founder Katherine Power on the overall company vision and market approach. She worked with the editorial, audience development, social and brand marketing teams to develop and implement strategies across all CMG titles. In her first year alone, she was able to grow the sites’ traffic by as much as 400%. Her role spans editorial, data, and e-commerce all at once.

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If you’ll notice, all three of them started their careers in publishing. At the very heart of it, these careers are still in fashion. They’re just evolving to keep up with technology.

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