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Trendsetters, SELF Magazine, Joyce Chang

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

With summer (and ergo bikini season) just around the corner, there's really no better time pick up a Self magazine. The health-conscious glossy is chalked full of the best advice on fitness, beauty, style and more for the everyday gal. And with fitness goddesses like Natalie Dormer, Candice Swanepoel and Jennifer Lopez serving as past faces of the mag, you'd best believe that the folks at Self knows exactly what they're talking about.

Behind the star-studded covers (and killer beach bod advice) is Joyce Chang, the mag's esteemed editor-in-chief. And as you can imagine, the successful editor's got a lot on her plate: brainstorming new content, securing new partnerships, copy editing and, yes, trying out all the latest fitness crazes for herself! But let's not get ahead of ourselves— read on to hear from Chang herself! 

Trendsetters, SELF Magazine, Joyce Chang

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What was your very first job?
Assistant to Linda Wells, the Editor-in-Chief of Allure.

How did you get started in your career?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and after college I went to journalism school at Columbia. It seemed like the practical way to be one. After graduation, I landed my first job at Allure, and then went on to The New York Times Magazine, Lucky, People, People Stylewatch, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, before coming to SELF in 2014.

Who are some of your career heroes?
Linda Wells gave me my first glimpse into what it was like to be an editor—and I couldn't think of a better example of how to lead with grace. Amy Spindler taught me at the Times to get comfortable with breaking the rules and not following the pack. Joanna Coles showed me to how be a leader and empower others to do their best work. Most recently, Anna Wintour has shown me how much I still have to learn! There is no one who has a sharper eye, a clearer vision or a defter hand at making things happen.

What's a typical workday like for you?
There are no "typical" days—I'm running from meeting to meeting, looking at layouts, editing copy, talking about who should be on our cover, brainstorming story ideas, conceiving of never-been-done ideas and partnerships, Instagraming the latest celebrity who has come to visit the office. One of my favorite parts of the job of course is trying out new workout classes and new gear!

Trendsetters, SELF Magazine, Joyce Chang

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration? Did you decorate it yourself?
We've only just moved in to the WTC, so I'd say my office is still a work in progress. The showpiece of my office is the view: The city spreads out before you. It's like a made-for-the-movies view. I look out onto the Hudson River, and whether we're in a snowstorm, or the day is clear and bright, or it's sunset, it's quite magical. The rest of my office is really clean and minimal. I don't like fussy things. I like a feeling of light, so everything is quite white.

List five things that are on your desk right now: A lot of beverages: coffee, water, juice, kombucha. You could find any or all of those on my desk at any time. There's also some girl scout cookies in the mix right now, fresh flowers, and a nude lipstick from Guerlain. I love their automatic lipsticks.

What do you typically wear to work?
Someone recently observed that I wear leather through more seasons than anyone they've ever met. Leather pants, skirts, dresses, even tops—I wear them all. On the non-leather front, I just bought a pair of great Stella McCartney culottes and a Jonathan Simkhai crop top which I'm shocked to find I love. So my look for spring I think will involve high-waisted culottes and crop tops with jackets. It sounds hideous but it's really very cool! 

What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?
Net-A-Porter.com is my go-to. Same-day delivery is a dream come true. I love Stella, Derek Lam, Cushnie et Ochs and Victoria Beckham, among others.

Trendsetters, SELF Magazine, Joyce Chang

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
When I took over as Editor-in-Chief here at SELF, Joanna told me: "There will always be challenges, but never forget to enjoy it!" I love what I do. I love my readers. I love our subject matter. I love that we have such a positive message and that we inspire and never judge. And I love my team. They are the best in the business. No matter what happens in any given day, I always enjoy it overall.

Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had… I had lunch with a journalist at Locanda Verde. It was snowing like crazy and I needed something cozy. So I had a few pumpkin tortelli, a winter vegetable salad and hot water with lemon.
The first website I log onto every day is…
SELF.com! Followed by nytimes.com, and then I scroll through Twitter and Instagram.
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is…
lip balm. Right now it's The Lip Slip by Sara Happ.
My must-have work gadget is…
my iPhone 6, and I can't wait for the new Apple Watch!
My usual Starbucks order is…
a café au lait with two Sugar in the raw packets, dash of cinnamon or a hot chocolate if I need an afternoon pick-me-up.
If I need a quick break during work, I usually…
try to squeeze in a workout class. Having the new Equinox open across the street from the office is a game changer.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…
a food writer! I wrote about food for The New York Times Magazine earlier in my career, and it still remains a passion of mine.
The best part of my job is…
creating a magazine and website for our readers—I consider myself one of them!—that genuinely aims to inspire and motivate. Our approach to life is simple: Take care of yourself so that you can be in top shape to achieve whatever you set your mind to at the gym, at work, at home, anywhere. Our core readers, a legion of millennial women, have complete confidence in their potential—anything is possible. We believe that, too—and we encourage them to set their sights high and give them a blueprint to get there.