Born and raised in Harlem, lifestyle maven Bevy Smith went from being an advertising professional to fashion editor at large at Vibe and writer, to now a dinner party hostess and TV personality. She has some out-of-this-world plans for her 50s, but for right now she’s basking in the spotlight of ‘Dinner With Bevy.’
Bevy, you are so much more than an event planner. You are a hostess to the stars. What's the difference?
People hire me because of my Rolodex. My guest list reads like a "who's who" from the worlds of fashion, music, art, sports and entertainment! People hire me for my connections and the way I make people feel. An event planner is someone who is into the minute details and does all the work, and then they stand back and watch people enjoy themselves. No, I am a hostess. I am a lifestyle maven. I enjoy my events just as much as my fabulous celebrity guests. Bevy Smith is not the worker bee.
What makes your dinners so special?
Of course, I have them at very chic places and very exclusive restaurants; but what really makes them special is the fact that I bring talented, accomplished people together. I can have people from seemingly very diverse backgrounds come together and really connect. That, and I am a fabulous hostess. I greet my guests and try to make them feel very welcomed. And if you’ve been to more than one of my dinners, I remember your favorite drink. I remember that you’re a vegetarian. I remember that you have a baby and you need to leave early, so I’m going to put you near the door so you can sneak out quietly. The little things matter and I put them all into play. That’s what my dinners are all about.
How did ‘Dinner With Bevy’ come to fruition?
You know, I realized I was one of the few people in the world to bridge the gap between urban artists and mainstream fashion brands and mainstream fashion magazines. I started ‘Dinner With Bevy’ three years ago and my first dinner was for Musiq Soulchild.
You host a lot of amazing dinners. Name one of your favorites.
I did one for Ashanti a couple years back that was so phenomenal that it was written up in the New York Times. It was so much fun that by the end of it Ashanti was reggae dancing with the fashion director of Allure magazine. It’s that kind of energy and that’s what I like about my dinners. It should flow organically. Even if you’re doing one at your home, it shouldn’t feel forced. It should feel very natural and fluid like a group of friends coming together and having a nice time.
Where are some hot spots to eat or lounge in New York?
Melba’s hands down! Amazing food, great atmosphere and a really fun place... They serve good soul food without the old school heavy, grease-on-the-plate kind of soul food.
The Standard Grill at the Standard Hotel is a real hot spot right now. The thing I love about it is that all the fashionistas come through there so on any given day, there’s Rachel Zoe across the room or Oscar de la Renta or Diane von Furstenberg. It’s like a very nice fashion club house.