It’s easy to have misconceptions about people in this business. And people sometimes have misconceptions about Andrew Bevan. (Most recently, according to Twitter, that he is Ira Glass.) As Teen Vogue‘s style features director, Bevan has amassed a collection of friends that include Alexa Chung, Kate Bosworth and Juliette Lewis. Pretty intimidating, right? But here’s the big difference between Bevan and many of his “man about town” counterparts: he’s actually friends with these people. But lots of non-famous people too. Because while partying is a big part of his job—attending Max Mara events with Hailee Steinfeld and Coachella with Bosworth is par for the course—he is also a reporter, writer, editor, and stylist in one. As in, he not only writes and conceptualizes the “Style Blogger” column for Teen Vogue and the other stories in his sections, but he often calls in the products, does the photo research, and styles the shoots. Basically, he does everything but “officially” lay out the pages. (And we’re pretty sure he has a hand in that, too.)
So, how did he get such an awesome but exhausting job? As a kid growing up in Denver, Colorado, with two older brothers, Bevan was the “creative” one. From early on, his mother dressed the kids in themes—on a trip to Southern California, they’d wear bright colors and patterns; in Boston it would be matching trench coats and chunky knits. But while he was interested in fashion, Bevan pursued a career in theater. After transferring from Arizona State to New York University, he landed a job at Miramax as an assistant and was auditioning for Broadway shows on the side. There, he met Plum Sykes, whom he helped out while she was publicizing her book Bergdorf Blondes. He also met a book editor who brought him on to write Totally Stylin’, a fashion manual for Lizzie McGuire fans, which is an obvious precursor to his work at Teen Vogue.
A few years in at Miramax, Bevan was picking up so many freelance gigs that he decided to abandon the Broadway dream and pursue writing full time. Soon enough, an assistant job in the entertainment department at Vogue presented itself. “A friend of mine suggested me for it, but it was just nothing I had ever considered.” It helped that he had kept in touch with Sykes—it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a contributing editor on your side when you’re up for a position at the fashion bible.
He took the job, but definitely felt out of place for a while. “I’ve always liked fashion, but I was into, like, skate brands,” he explains. “I remember being in the fashion closet and pronouncing Lanvin wrong and everyone just staring at me!”
He was a quick study, and a year and a half into working at Vogue, Kimball Hastings, the then-style editor at Teen Vogue, left to work in VIP dressing at Ralph Lauren. Bevan was recommended for the job, and it’ll be six years in January that he’s been at Teen Vogue. He’s best known amongst the Vogue crowd as a talent-spotter, featuring Katy Perry, Chung, Dree Hemingway and Willow Smith in print before anyone else. “I’ve been lucky, but also I do have a good gut instinct when it comes to finding interesting new talent, and brought a lot of people to the Teen Vogue table that has made the powers that be sort of trust me,” he says. “It’s amazing to have that kind of beautiful trust. If I see a new band or meet an actress that I want to feature, there are very few hoops that I have to jump through to actually get them in the magazine. We’re all about emerging talent. It’s one of the best parts of my job.”
He credits Teen Vogue‘s editor in chief, Amy Astley, for making it possible. “Amy has allowed me to hone my skills, find my voice and ultimately find my place in this industry, which has been incredibly assuring and supportive,” he says. “Its wonderful to have a boss that embraces your quirkier choices, which she has wholeheartedly.”
As for being actual friends with these celebrities and It girls, Bevan is realistic. “There are moments when I wonder who would be my friend if I quit to work at Starbucks tomorrow,” he says. “Some may drop off, but others I know for a fact would still pop in to say hi, grab a latte and hang out with me on my break! And I would do the same if they suddenly lost their fame for the barista life. Either way, we’ll get free lattes.”
Another benefit to the gig is extensive travel. Just in the past six months, Bevan’s visited Los Angeles, Berlin, London, and Savannah for work, some multiple times. “At the end of the day, I love an adventure,” he says. Of course, as I said before, it’s not like he’s not overextending himself the whole time. On top of the story he’s usually working on, Bevan still has three magazine sections to edit. “I don’t love jet lag and that’s what comes with it. My mother will say,’I don’t feel bad for you, I see how much fun you’re having,’ after she looks at my Instagram. But I’m not Instagramming my four-hour layover in Munich! On the other hand, the end does justify the means.”
As for Bevan’s oft-mentioned mom, she is undoubtedly the most influential person in his life. “I’m very close to my mom and older brothers and my grandmother and I try to make it back to Colorado three to four times a year to decompress and have them whip me into shape so to speak…because at the end of the day they don’t care about any of my fancy friends, or how much my suit costs, or where I had dinner last week” he says. “It was obviously Theodore Roosevelt who said, ‘Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground,’ but Peggy Bevan may have well tattooed this onto my brain about a hundred times. My family does an almost too good of job at grounding me and making sure I keep who I am intact.” The loss of Bevan’s father, who was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 19 and passed away just a few years later, has also made a huge impact on his attitude towards life, and really, just who he is as a person. “I was a bit naïve, not to mention a little bit of a brat, so it took a while to fully process what was going on and what a monumentally tragic event was happening,” he says. “My dad battled the disease for the greater part of my college experience, so of course that had such a profound effect on that time of my life, but also very much who I am and will always be from that point onward.”
So the next time you see Andrew Bevan at a runway show, or DJing at a party, say hi. Because it doesn’t get more real than this guy.