The New Potato

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Eva Chen

Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Magazine, Part I

We’re lucky enough to have some truly brilliant tastemakers on our site, but we’ll admit that every once in awhile we get a little jaded. Every now and then, we forget to appreciate every single word of an interview. We forget about that first interview with Alain Ducasse, where we couldn’t really get the words out because we were so nervous, or that moment when Graydon Carter agreed to answer our questions and we were pretty sure it was a prank PR-call. So, you can understand how excited we get when we have a true jaw-dropper on the site – when answers are not so much answers, but more of a bevy of quotables we plan to refer to in good times and bad.

Our jaw-dropper this week just so happens to be Lucky Magazine’s new Editor-in-Chief, Eva Chen, the woman who has not just inspired us recently, but more accurately, all of America. Chen’s been brought on to change the face of Lucky Magazine, but the way she sees it, the DNA is right there for her to play with. She’s having a consistent “throwback” with Lucky, simply bringing it back to its roots. There’s a comfort to an Editor-in-Chief like this, who celebrates all things harmonious about both print and digital. We knew we loved print, but when Eva Chen says, [about magazines] “You want to tear it out; you want to feel it; you want to put the magazine close to your face…” we’re able to put into words just why we love it so much. It’s why digital and print do in fact mesh so well together. They’re the yin and yang of today’s world, and right now Chen is seriously the yin to The New Potato’s yang. Okay, you caught us – it’s another serious girl crush. We promise we’re going cold turkey right after Martha Stewart…whoops, did we say that?

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

My dream food day would ideally be a very healthy one. I think that eating healthy is the foundation to good health, good skin and everything. I almost always have the same thing for breakfast every day. It’s deeply boring – I could literally be in Uzbekistan or the North Pole and I would eat the same thing. It’s usually a poached egg, avocado or spinach, a bowl of berries and green tea. I drink vats of green tea, which is why I love coming to Kusmi when I’m in Paris, because I stock up. That would be breakfast.

I think in a past life I was a fruit fly; I eat a lot of fruit. I’m a snacker. I graze throughout the day. I always bring fruit into the office. I think my assistant thinks I’m weird because I come in and I’m like, “Would you like a fresh fig?”

I’ll have a snack at around 11am. My office is basically a revolving door of baked goods. I actually had a cronut for the first time last week which is basically a milestone in my life; I feel like I spent all summer trying to get a cronut. In an ideal food day there would be a cronut in there, or some sort of macaroon, or a chocolate croissant – something kind of decadent and delicious. For lunch, I love sushi. I go to a place near the office called Sushi Zen, which is really good and traditional. It tastes really clean and it’s healthy; the seaweed salad there is awesome. It’s just light and happy. I’m also a big soup drinker. One of the best tips I ever got in life was from Jenna Lyons. I actually told her this recently, and she totally didn’t remember telling me – I think she thought I was crazy. She once told me that the secret to busy women is to eat soup, because you can drink with one hand and work with the other. When she told me this five or six years ago I was like “That’s genius – Soup!” And ever since I think, “I’m going to have soup for lunch, because Jenna Lyons told me to have soup.” And then I saw her at a party recently and I said “I don’t know if you remember, you gave me this tip about soup and it changed my life.” And she was like…”What are you talking about?” (laughs) So that was kind of funny.

Then probably more fruit and snacks throughout the day, and then dinner. I go to Souen a lot, which is a macrobiotic place. I don’t even truly understand what macrobiotic is, however I love the food there. They do a really yummy scrambled tofu. I love tofu in general. So it would probably be Souen for dinner or this noodle place called Sobaya. I love that place; the Udon there is really yummy. Then for dessert, probably Bubble Tea, or Sundaes and Cones. It’s so good because it’s a Chinese-owned place, and it is ice cream but it doesn’t taste too sweet; it tastes light and healthy. That would be my ideal food day.

Speaking of soup tips from Jenna Lyons, who are some of your mentors?

Definitely Amy Astley from Teen Vogue. I worked for Amy for eight years and she is an amazing boss and an amazing inspiration because she really balances it all so gracefully. Teen Vogue is such an important magazine; the mission is very important. Obviously I’ve learned a lot from working with Anna Wintour these last few months (and years). Within the editorial world I’ve had a few encounters with Angelica Cheung from Vogue China and I find her extremely refreshing and intelligent. I love that she approaches fashion from a business perspective. My Mom and Dad are both immigrants; they moved to the US in the seventies and seeing how much work they put into giving myself and my brother opportunities – and their overall work ethic – is my moral compass.

Where do you draw inspiration and ideas from and how does that translate to Lucky

I grew up in New York City, so that is a huge inspiration to me. I grew up in Greenwich Village in the eighties, which means tons of different styles. I feel like street style was invented then and there, with the punk movement and NYU kids. I’ve always loved street style. My inspiration really comes from everywhere, and I think that’s how most women are these days. It’s hard to pinpoint one place, one thing, or one designer. It’s like this delicious mashup stew of inspiration.

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Comments

  1. Emily Kammeyer

    October 21st, 2013

    Eva must live in my neighborhood as those are two of my fave spots. The black sesame and green tea ice creams from Sundaes and Cones are two of my favorite…especially when combined!

  2. AkilahtheB

    October 21st, 2013

    I love Eva Chen! Had the privilege of meeting her when I interned at Teen Vogue. The soup tip is awesome I do that just about everyday for lunch. Also loved her response to where publishing is heading, I work for the paper industry and quotes like this really help promote the printing and writing sector! great interview

  3. Lula

    October 21st, 2013

    Eva is amazing, no denying that, but Lucky didn’t invent high/low! Can’t really determine exactly who did, but InStyle has been doing it for almost twenty years.

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