This Lebanese Fashion Designer Is One of The Most Renowned in The World

My Lebanese background provides me with a passion and the love of beauty.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra is an internationally infamous fashion designer known for her mesmerizing bridal and ready-to-wear collections.

With her incredible ability to make women feel confident and sensual, numerous celebrities, royalty, and head of states have worn her designs.

Among these celebrities dressed up by Reem Acra: Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé who were spotted in renowned events, such as Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

At the age of 5, Reem’s love for fashion started flourishing. However, she dreamed of being an artist.

At the age of 11, she began painting, and six years later, she started accepting big commissions for her arts and her works were published by major local newspapers like Annahar and L’Orient Le Jour. 

Acra studied Business at the American University of Beirut (AUB), graduating in 1982. It was during her university years that she embraced her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. The AUB was the scene of Acra’s first fashion show.

Back then, Acra was assigned a stage fashion show and was given 10 days to prepare. Her fashion show was attended by about 2000 students, and this was the beginning of her interesting journey in the fashion field.  

In her words to Vogue Magazine about her show at AUB, “I think it was the first fashion show a Lebanese designer had ever staged. The dresses were impeccable. It was incredibly styled, and everything looked luxurious.”

“If I look at what I did then, I would say, ‘Oh my God!’ It was pretty outstanding. I knew at this moment that fashion was going to be my career—and that it was going to be big-time.”  

When she turned 21, Reem traveled to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “They used to call me ‘the genius.’ My parents couldn’t believe it, this little girl from Beirut is a genius at school at the Fashion Institute in New York! That’s something,” she recalled. 

Indeed! Acra fid graduate Magna Cum Laude in 1986 and won the Fashion Design Department award for her class! After graduating from FIT, she went on to study at the design school École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode in Paris.

Once completing her studies, Acra took mainstream fashion design positions in Hong Kong and Taiwan. She worked as a luxury interior designer before launching her own line.

Acra started her company in 1997 as a bridal line, and she held her first professional fashion show in 1999. She became the Middle East’s first internationally acclaimed female designer. 

Her brand expanded to include evening-gowns in 2003 and a ready-to-wear collection in 2008. 

Today, Reem is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Besides, she has been a member of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council since its creation.

In addition to that, Reem Acra was named the 7th Most Powerful Arab Woman in the World by Forbes Magazine, which includes the likes of Amal Clooney, Nemat Shafik, and Zaha Hadid.

She also received the Building Bridges Award from the Bridges of Understanding Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve relations between the Middle East and the United States.

When asked how Lebanese culture plays a role in her designs, Reem said in her interview with The National Wedding Show:

“I am influenced by many cultures; my Lebanese background provides me with a passion and the love of beauty, my French upbringing provides me with culture and the knowledge of couture and luxury, and my American lifestyle brings me a practical sense.”

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