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Ask Eva Chen: What If You Want to Work in Fashion AND Make the World a Better Place?

eva chen street style reddit AMA

Image: The Styleograph/

Earlier today, Lucky Magazine's editor-in-chief Eva Chen took an hour to answer questions for a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Right from the outset, a user approached her with one of the most challenging questions you can ask someone who works in the fashion and beauty industry: How can you reconcile a passion for these materialistic fields with the desire to make the world a better place?

The original question, from Reddit user emzerzzz:

"I recently graduated college with a degree in Neuroscience, but like you, decided to forgo the science route to pursue my passion in beauty. I will begin working in product innovation at a large beauty company in a few days and could not be more excited. However, four years of college has permanently engrained phrases like 'make a difference,' 'help others,' and 'make the world a better place' into my head, and I sometimes worry that my career pursuits are not going to fulfill these lofty pleas. I am wondering if you ever dealt with this type of crisis, and was hoping you could lend some advice on how to deal with this tug-of-war between wanting to follow dreams of my own and feeling like I need to do something more beneficial for the world?"

And Chen's response:

"Congratulations and applause on your bravery. It's tough to make a change/pivot in that way, I know first-hand. I think there's a way to combine your two passions. There are amazing companies that combine the two—think of brands like Warby Parker, Tom's, Yoobi (a new one), Yes to Carrot, etc. And there are different ways to help people. Sure, fashion isn't curing cancer. But there are so many charities that the industry supports—think of the impact it's had on AIDS awareness, for instance. And think of the way the beauty industry has embraced charities like Dress for Success and Breast Cancer Awareness. I suppose what I'm saying is where there's a will, there's a way. And I know you can do it."

[via I am Eva Chen, editor in chief of LUCKY magazine. Ask me anything!]