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Fashion for Action in Focus: Host Bevy Smith

Fashion for Action in Focus: Host Bevy Smith

Housing Works 11th Annual Fashion for Action is this Thursday. If you aren’t familiar with our charity shopping benefit, here’s the gist: you can get your hands on brand new designer merchandise for a mega discount while partying with other fabulous do-gooders including Co-chairs Zac Posen and John Varvatos. However, Fashion for Action isn’t only about shopping, it’s also a celebration of your ongoing commitment in the fight to end AIDS.

This year’s party at the Rubin Museum of Art is sure to be fabulous–we’ve got THE host with the most, Bevy Smith, on hand to get the party started. We recently sat down with the Fashion Queen herself to learn her top party hosting tips, what not to do, plus other timeless fashion and etiquette advice below:

Housing Works: The New York Times dubbed you a “socialite and noted hostess” in reference to your Dinner with Bevy parties where you connect movers and shakers from all different fields for an intimate dinner. Tell us your five top tips for creating a memorable event? In the same vein, what are some no-nos that folks should (gently) be reminded of?

Bevy Smith:
My Top Five Tips:
1. Shake it up, there is nothing more boring than attending an event and knowing everyone in the room. The best dinner parties have a diverse guest list, sit a nuclear physicist next to a drag queen and watch the magic happen!

2. Music makes the people come together, it’s imperative to have a great playlist. I like a mix of oldies but goodies, with a sprinkle of Top 40 hits, think Motown with Sam Smith and Drake.

3. A good cocktail is crucial to a fun party, you don’t have to have a full open bar (that gets pricey) but a signature drink sets the tone for the evening and you won’t have a host playing bartender all night.

4. Have a clearly defined dress code or don’t….I hate the term “Black Tie Optional”. I mean who would really put on a gown or a tuxedo unless they had to? If you want your guests dressed up, say it, don’t give them any options, that causes confusion.

5. If you have alcohol you must have food. That doesn’t mean you have to whip up a smorgasbord but you can’t have an open bar and serve beer nuts, that will lead to lots of falls, broken glasses and perhaps a law suit.

If a host has set the table with name cards you must adhere to it, it’s the ultimate tacky move to change your seat because you want to sit next to your bestie, grow up.

Never attend a house party without a little gift, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, a pack of condoms, you know traditional hostess gifts.

HW: In addition to Dinner with Bevy, many people know you from Bravo’s Fashion Queens, your television show covering anything and everything related to fashion. What fashion advice would you give attendees of Fashion for Action? In other words, how do they not get called out on the show for a fashion misstep?

BS: Fashion for Action is all about self expression, this is a great event to let your PERSONAL STYLE shine! We don’t care if you’re wearing a Texas Tuxedo or velvet, as long as you feel good and spend lots of money on our cause, we think you look good!

HW: You are graciously hosting the party portion of Fashion for Action at The Rubin Museum of Art. What can we expect there?

BS: The dance party will be a good time, lots of fun conversations i.e. flirting and hopefully at least one person twerking.

HW: As a longtime supporter of Housing Works, what drew you to the organization?

BS: I lost two cousins and a co-worker to AIDS in the 80’s, I never forgot how people were so prejudiced against them, they were totally marginalized. Housing Works gives voice, therapy, healthcare and homes to those who are often regulated to the sidelines, I wanted to be a part of the movement.

HW: With nearly 150k total followers on Twitter and Instagram; we have to ask, what’s your secret?

BS: Social media is just a microcosm of real life, I find that the same skill set for building friendships and networks in real life apply on social media.
Dispense good information/advice
Listen to what others have to say don’t just go on ad nauseam about your accomplishments
Be gracious in your interactions even if the other person is an asshole
If someone is a hater, banish them from your life which on social media means, BLOCK THEM.

HW: What will the New Year bring for Bevy Smith?

BS: For the New Year, I’m going to re-launch my motivational speaking event “Dining With Bevy – Life With Vision”. I’m working on taking voice lessons because I intend to sing in public on stage and I’m not talking karaoke. I hope to launch a production company, starting small with web-series about travel, changing careers and high achieving African American women.

Don’t miss out on the action! Get your Fashion for Action tickets now, before it’s too late.

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