Iconic designer Reem Acra’s unique, sophisticated and feminine bridal designs are hugely popular among women all over the world, rivaled only by her ready-to-wear collections, which feature rich colors, lush fabrics and playful patterns. From the red carpet to the altar to the street in cities all over the world, Lebanese designer Reem Acra has created a fashion empire that famously knows how to match a look to a woman’s personality. She’s dressed famous femmes like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Sofia Vergara, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, and so many more.
Having been discovered by a fashion editor who admired her party gown that she had conjured from her mother’s tablecloth, she launched her first bridal collection in 1997. The ethereal quality of her designs, combined with her imagination, innovation and business savvy, have set her apart in a competitive industry. Well accustomed to designing for celebrities and royalty, her special knack is in creating wedding dresses that make a girl feel like a celebrity on her special day.
We spoke to the legendary designer about combining fun and fashion, her style inspirations, and designing the longest dress in the world.
How have you used Swarovski crystals in your designs? What do they add to the dresses?
I love elegant sparkle. Swarovski crystals represent, for me, the quality of glamour I surround myself with.
What is the biggest challenge of working with crystals?
It is time-consuming to sew each tiny 4mm crystal onto a dress. The weight is another challenge.
What’s coming up in the world of weddings? What can we expect from your upcoming bridal collections?
Lots of airiness and lightweight fabrics. For the Spring 2017 Bridal collection, I’m working with some new shapes and ideas.
What’s your current fabric obsession?
Mixing multiple fabrics in one dress.
What are your top styling tips for…
...the red carpet? Be cool. Don’t feel pressured to match accessories to your dress.
...a wedding day? My selfie stick as a bouquet was a big hit.
...a night out on the town? Use curling tongs to style your hair and make it different from the everyday.
You’ve dressed so many celebrities, including royal weddings. Can you share some of your most memorable experiences?
I created the longest dress in the world: it was an extraordinary piece of art—the train had small wheels that were hidden!
Who would you dream of dressing, and what would you dress her in?
I design for women who are strong, independent, sexy, and want to make a statement through fashion. Whether they’re famous or not, my designs set out to celebrate and encourage these attributes.
Describe the influence of Lebanese style on your designs?
Lebanese style gives the collection its sexiness—and it gave me a whole world of ideas.
What is your favorite place to visit?
I enjoy visiting Turkey, Dubai and my home in Lebanon.
What does your own day-to-day personal style look like?
I typically wear all black and at least one accessory that sparkles.
What type of woman inspires your designs?
Women who make a difference: Coco Chanel, Madame Lanvin and Madame Grès—these are the women I look up to in my career.
What makes you sparkle?
I’m a dreamer, and I love that my role allows me to turn dreams into reality.