Here’s what I know: At any premier magazine, the editor in chief sets the tone – and the unofficial dress code. At PeopleStyle, that’s Bethany Heitman. This media maven has been a champion of individual style while interviewing today’s most sought-after celebrities and musicians, tackling tough issues, and writing investigative and trend-driven articles. That’s why we went to her offices for our Spotlight Series shoot this month. Read on for her favorite stories and looks right now.
For someone who spent the last four years taking the helm of the leading millennial fashion and beauty resource, running a marathon, and getting married; this editor in chief’s ability to refuel – and killer sense of style – have undoubtedly spurred her success.
Wake up. Bring a cup of coffee back in bed. Watch re-runs of “ER.” This is how PeopleStyle editor-in-chief and enviable self-care practitioner Bethany Heitman starts her days. “If you don’t build time in for yourself, you just won’t get it,” states the high achiever. This is also the thinking that launched her after-work routines. First, a dark room and a sweaty SoulCycle session. Then, a half hour of quiet time before her and her husband share their days. (Yes, like when Carrie Bradshaw moved in with Aidan, she admits.) While Bethany takes me time seriously, she doesn’t necessarily feel the same about fashion. “Style does not have to be taken seriously,” she says.
“The older I get, I try to have fun trying new things. Something might not work but always try it on,” the Manhattan editor suggests encouragingly. She also cites the prismatic, sequins-driven Daytime Glitz trend sparkling on the New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 runways from September. A lighthearted zeal for play and whimsy is one of many things she’s brought to her role since she was promoted at the start of the year.
The ELOQUII stylists clearly took note. At the Spotlight shoot, Bethany donned spirited ruffles, stripes, beads, sheets and faux furs. The model mentions, “One fun thing about shoot were the looks that I wouldn’t think of trying. At PeopleStyle, we style so much so we’re always interested in how other people approach styling. It really expanded my fashion horizons.”
“ People think of clothes as superficial but anything that makes women feel powerful matters”
“Hands down the leopard top paired with jeans and blazer felt like the most me. The leopard was cheeky and fun. And the huge hoop earrings were crazy bananas,” she says with what sounds like a smile over the phone.
‘Crazy bananas’ pluck is something Bethany has long embraced in her own edgy style. In her opinion, every woman needs black skinny pants and a moto jacket. This season, she’s also a fan of the animal prints seen all over Fall/Winter 17/18 runways. “I have my eyes on a pair of leopard booties,” Bethany reveals. Whether it’s a bold print or a soft twinkle, she knows a look can send a clear message.
“People think of clothes as superficial but anything that makes women feel powerful matters,” she explains. “Fashion is a tool we use to express ourselves. I have such a full life but fashion is a shortcut to tell people what I need them to know before I start talking.”
This considered take on the industry is in line with the PeopleStyle wall quote by Yves Saint Laurent: “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” This proved one of many perfect backdrops for our photo shoot in her office at the downtown Time Inc headquarters. Our model gave us the full tour of her magnificent Hudson River views, coveted beauty shelves and the inspiration boards that ignite new story ideas.
“One thing I’m trying to do in the magazines is highlight real women of all shapes and sizes and solve real style issues,” she shares. That’s why she got behind this October’s “Jeans You Can Move In” concept. In it, the editors find denim that won’t slip, droop or fall by asking dancers to pirouette, plie or pop-and-lock in hundreds of pairs made for all women. “Now, more than ever, we need empowering stories of women out in the world. I keep trying to do that – to find ways to tell women’s stories,” says Bethany, a self-described girl’s girl and member of an exclusive social and professional women’s club.
“I surround myself with strong women and work hard to nourish and maintain those friendships because they help me be the strong woman I am.” She says she also gets some her best advice from these women. One of the dancers from the denim story told her, “If you want to move about the world as your most free self, then you have to ask yourself what to release or let go of to do that.” Now, if any negative thoughts surface throughout her on-the-go days or tranquil nights, she asks herself, “Is it helping me be the person I want to be?”
What was your first ELOQUII purchase?
Black-and-white track pants with a drawstring waist. I got tons of compliments on them at work, especially when I paired them with a black, silk button-down.
Who are your style icons?
Everyday women. People from all walks of life who I see in the subway and in the city: artists, dancers, successful business women. When I was younger, I looked up to celebrities but now it’s everyone.
Name moments when you felt your best.
My first half marathon and my wedding.
What’s your beauty philosophy?
To make sure you’re starting with a great blank canvas. It’s foundational to start with your skin - face cream, eye cream, face masks, serums. I also believe in a great red lips.
What’s your approach to accessorizing?
Accessories is really where I bring a lot of edge – nameplate necklaces or big hoops or almost-goth skulls pieces to mix in.
Inspired for your next look? Shop the looks featured below and then check out all of our new arrivals.