Reem Acra’s designs epitomize global glamour by offering women her innate fashion sense, European style and understanding of what looks and feels beautiful. Interlaced with her sense of luxury, her regal designs are developed with a modern aesthetic. The ready-to-wear and bridal collections evoke an ethereal quality, which appeals to a discerning clientele including personalities, royalty, and style setting women from all corners of the world.
In 1997, Acra launched her fashion business with a bridal collection that quickly became recognized for its elegance and impeccable designs. This success led to the introduction of the Reem Acra ready-to-wear collection six years later. Similar to its bridal counterpart, it features meticulously constructed designs ranging from understated chic to the ornate. It is distinctly modern but marked by rich color, lush fabrics, flawless construction and playful patterns. The Reem Acra flagship, located at 14 East 60th Street off Madison Avenue in New York City, opened in 2003. It is a jewel box that houses all the collections and mirrors the brand aesthetic.
While attending the American University of Beirut, Acra was discovered by a fashion editor. Captivated with the ornately embroidered silk organza gown Acra made from her mother’s dining room tablecloth and wore to a party, she instantly offered to host a fashion show for Acra that took place ten days later. Following the serendipitous encounter, Acra studied at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and its Paris counterpart at Esmod.
A short stint as an interior designer was followed by Acra’s return to her fashion roots working in Hong Kong and New York.
A style-setting friend wore Acra’s first bridal design to her society wedding and it sparked international interest for the designer and Reem Acra Bridal was born. The gowns became renowned for transforming classic bridal designs through the finest silks, intricate beading and exquisite embroidery.
Celebrated for her ability to match a look to a woman’s personality, Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her following includes Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Eva Longoria as well as royal families around the world.
Acra’s ready-to-wear and bridal collections are carried by 150 of the world’s most exclusive retailers. These stores include Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols in the Middle East. Her designs are also available at top specialty retailers across the world: in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Istanbul, Egypt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea.
I just love Reem Acra’s designs!!!
ASIANCE: Where do you receive your inspiration for your dresses?
Reem: My travels, old movies and mentoring young women all inspire me
ASIANCE: What are you looking for in a bride when you have to design their couture gown?
Reem: I look at her personality first and then her attitude and her body shape.
ASIANCE: Who would you like to dress that you haven’t?
Reem: We have dressed everyone we love. We are very selective about who we dress and the young celebrities are drawn to my designs.
ASIANCE: Any celebrity wedding dress that you would have liked to change and/or add something different to?
ASIANCE: Who are you inspired by? Any designers?
Reem: I have my own look and style. I am inspired by the past and excited when looking forward to the future. It’s a mix of old and new always.
ASIANCE: Is there a favorite dress, besides your own, that you remember or is your favorite?
Reem: The dress Grace Kelly wore to her wedding to Prince Ranier.
ASIANCE: What type of bride would wear your designs?
Reem: An intelligent bride who understands style, fashion and luxury.
ASIANCE: What bit of advice would you offer women who are picking out their wedding gowns? What do they need to know?
Reem: Fit the gown to your personality – not the other way around.
ASIANCE: What advice do you have for women who want to be a wedding dress designer? What is the hardest obstacle to overcome?
Reem: It’s a very serious business. It’s a big commitment and takes a lot of time and energy. It’s an emotional commitment.