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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breaking into Fashion: Beverly Smith

Hey Fashion Bombers!
Adriana here with a Breaking into Fashion post on writer, celebrity style consultant, television personality, and founder of the Dinner with Bevy enterprise...

...Beverly Smith!
As one of Fashion's presiding Renaissance women, there are few areas of style, media, and culture Beverly Smith hasn't touched:

Starting as a receptionist at an advertising agency, Beverly climbed the ranks with her razor sharp chic barometer, holding posts as Fashion Advertising Director and Fashion Editor at Large of Vibe Magazine, Senior Fashion Director of Rolling Stone, Contributing Editor of Latina Magazine, freelance writer for Paper Mag and Interview, and TV personality on BET, E, Oxygen, and VH1.
I sat down recently with Bevy (as we call her) at Melba's in Harlem to get the 411 on her experiences in fashion, advice for breaking in to the field, and some of her Favorite Things!

On Breaking into the industry, Bevy says, "Study the art, craft, and business of fashion and you will go much farther than someone who just looks the part. Knowledge gives you the freedom to explore many facets of the business! We don't need any more fly young people carrying Goyard, wearing Lanvin but can't tell you who Madame Grès, Charles James, or Patrick Kelly are."

Bevy, whose favorite fashion memories include her first Vivienne Westwood Parisian show and Tom Ford's after party for the Met Costume Ball (in the Gucci era), contends that the key to maintaining confidence in the cutthroat world of couture is to, "Find something beyond fashion to believe in: look to family, friends, spirituality. Don't be afraid to be unique; in fact, celebrate what makes you different! "

Bevy's golden rule for success? "Be confident in who you are and what you bring to any situation. Also, know your worth: having worked in fashion for 20 years, I've built up quite a wealth of knowledge and contacts, which makes me unafraid to enter any domain."

Of course I had to ask this fashion maven about a few of her favorite things! She says, "I love my Gucci bandage dress from Tom Ford's third season, and my Dior "Frankenstein" platforms that I was photographed in by the New York Times. My two best assets are my cheeks and lips, so I love blush by Nars (Orgasm and Taj Mahal). Lips must be bright and shiny so a combo of a bright M.A.C. lipstick and a Wet 'n Wild gloss in gold does the trick!"
Try a Bevy essence with the following:
Herve Leger Zip Front Reversible Bandage Dress, $1,390. Nars Blush in Orgasm, $25. Dior Couture Suede Cutout Sandals, $925. Wet 'n' Wild MegaSlicks Lip Gloss, $2. M·A·C Lipstick, $14.
The divine Miss Smith has spoken!
Learn more about Bevy at!


Fashion Guru said...

is it me or does she look like serena williams. she is fabulous

Anonymous said...

I do love this blog. I rarely comment.

Yes she does look like Serena Williams.

I do take issue with her attire. She may have good taste in dressing other people- but her melons are out in every picture. It is not tastefully done in any of the pictures, a la Nene on the terrible Housewives of Atlanta.

I personally feel as you age you should be able to figure out how to be sexy, play up your assets and be classy. I need for her to put them away.


Anonymous said...

Amazing. I love those Dior stacked heels, they are THE BUSINESS

bevy said...


Thanks so much for the lovely write-up but I must ask, why oh why do my "melons" offend risse, lol! If I had a dollar for every complete stranger that had something to say about the twins I would already be living in Malibu (as you know that's my goal, to be Malibu Bevy)! Anyhoo, I hope the post inspires some young person to learn more about the art of fashion versus trends and that we learn to celebrate our DIFFERENCES!


Ms. Bevy

Anonymous said...

Bevy for President!

Sugabelly said...

I'm sorry to be detracting from the fact that she's breaking into fashion and everything, but please



Ladies please, Bras are your FRIEND. If you know that you have been 'endowed' a little more than the average female, then please, keep away from clothing that is obviously meant for skinny teenagers with little to no breasts.

Her breasts are a long mess in that picture, and I don't mean to be mean but it's true. Just that little fact makes her look like she's trying too hard to look young/trendy/whatever and it ruins a beautiful picture. She looks much better in the other shots where she's obviously wearing a supportive bra.

Fashion is from the INSIDE IN. You must have on APPROPRIATE undergarments FIRST before you dress the outside, otherwise all your primping and fussing is meaningless.

Just Sayin said...

Bevy is well endowed. This is true. But it obviously hasn't taken away from her grind or her shine. And perhaps they're her calling card? Her hard to forget feature that makes her spring to mind? We all need one, and god blessed her with two!

maylady84 said...

I love me some Bevy! I saw her on this show on BETJ I think it's called "men uncensored" anyway it's usually just men talking about things but that particular night they invite women on the show. Ms. Bevy was hilarious! Do ur thang! You look great!!!!

kia said...

This is about breaking into fashion not her chest size. Maybe if you read what she said and took notes, you might get out of the comment section and on someone's pages.
Love you Bevy!

Dominique said...

Dear Claire,

Thanks so very much for posting on successful black women that are breaking into the fashion industry. I am a fashion student and i would love to go into the magazine industry with my degree, writing on fashion. Sometimes I know its obtainable but yet so far away. Seeing these post that you write on other women, gives me such motivation that I can't help but wait till I make it to the top. Thank you once again for inspiring me through your blog. Bevy is absolutely fabulous and the way she conducts business is extremely professional.


The Voice of Reason said...

I'm sure Ms. Bevy is fab and all, but it's a shame she can't dress for her body type. I love to see successful black women, but I hate to see any woman trying to squeeze her figure (and there's nothing wrong with the girls...I have them too) into something that just isn't flattering.

If you're bigger than a large C cup, please, leave the spaghetti straps on the rack...and I say this with the best intentions.

Sherlonda said...

I love the article on Bevy, in fact I just saw her eating dinner at Melba's this past Saturday while dining with my brother. I know she was like why do those people keep staring at me but I told my brother it was Bevy. She said hi and was friendly towards us and that made my brothers day since he finally came to visit his baby sister from Indiana.

I think Bevy is an example to Black women that if there is something you want to do go out there and make it happen and dont let what people say stop you. Everyone is not going to like what you do and in fact there gonna hate on you because you had the nerve to do what they can only dream about.

As a recent graduate with a degree as a Marriage & Family therapist my goal is to combine my two loves which is fashion and therapy. So this gives me inspiration to know that I can make my dreams come true.

Luv Ya Bevy,

BRG said...

She looks a hot country mess... I want her to get a breast reduction or cover them thangs up! And get her hair done!

BRG said...

I did not read the post prior to posting my comment as I was distracted by Bevy's breast (which aren't attractive at all) in the second photo. Let me say that after reading the post, I am very happy for "Bevy" and very proud of all of her accomplishments. Nevertheless, is seems like her fashion sense is lost when it comes to styling herself.

Covet said...

She has great advice and great taste (especially in shoes, those are to die for).

Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

this is motivational! great post adriana!

kgibbs said...

Having traveled with Bevy to the shows in Milan, NY or even "Magic" in the early days of urban 'fashion", I can tell you that no one is more respected for her fashion business acumen. Her distinct style, winning personality, and fashion knowledge, made "B Smith from Uptown" a force to be dealt with. Whether at a dinner with Giorgio Armani, or the president of Christian Dior with a urban celeb in tow, Bev made the fashion world recognize and spend ad dollars on the urban consumer--this I know-she built the Vibe fashion business--all the best Bev

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, quit with the negative comments! lets just celebrate a sister doing something positive. All the hating is starting to get old and tried.

Anonymous said...

If your attention is only centered on her breast, then that just shows your level of intelligence and focus!Why not just pay attention to what she's accomplishing in the fashion industry instead.

Adora said...


I met Bevy and she is an inspiration! Not only was she friendly, looked fabulous and polite. . .you could tell she was all about bringing people up and not down. . .I loved her!

Why are people hating on her boobs, get over it!