Reem Acra is among the most well-known bridal designers on the planet. By combining tradition with modern aesthetics, she leads the fashion industry together with her bridal and ready-to-wear collections. She is adored by bridesmaid dresses and celebrities alike, and we can’t get an adequate amount of her glamorous yet romantic wedding gown designs.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Reem Acra knew in the early stages that the fashion world was calling her name. By age 5, her mother was taking her toward the souks, where she was immersed in the fashion and tailoring industry.
While studying at the American University of Beirut, a fashion editor noticed her intricate, silk-organza gown at a party and was amazed that Acra had designed it off her mother’s tablecloth! The editor was inspired to see much more of Acra’s designs and pulled together a last-minute fashion show in only ten days.
After a roaring success, Acra enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she graduated magna cum laude in 1986. From there, she did multiple fashion design projects in Paris, Hong Kong, and Taiwan before finally choosing to return to New York.
HOW REEM ACRA GOT INTO THE BRIDAL INDUSTRY
In 1997, a detailed friend of Acra’s bet that they couldn’t design her wedding gown in just three weeks. After Acra pulled them back, she submitted a photograph of the dress to multiple publications, including The New York Times, and officially launched Reem Acra New York in Manhattan.
Her designs gained immediate attention and she or he started pitching designs to Saks Fifth Avenue and Kleinfeld—the well-known bridal shop presently has the largest choice of Acra dresses within the country.
Acra’s business boomed we spent with Max Kane, an 89-year-old factory owner, nobody mentored and supported her in the beginning. This partnership allowed Acra to grow her business and open her very own production centers.
In 2001, she started her first ready-to-wear collection and added evening gowns by 2003. Like her bridal collections. These designs are crafted with amazing embroidery, layered textures, and ornate beading.
Her popularity grew even larger, as well as in 2007 Mattel released a restricted edition Reem Acra Bride Barbie doll. By 2010, she opened a bridal shop in Beirut and launched a line around the Home Shopping Network.
It’s easy to spot an Acra gown. The designer continues to be known to use luxurious fabrics, plenty of texture, and handmade details in most of her designs. She always brings glamour and sophistication to each gown she creates.
Acra loves to describe her style as multicultural European combined with modern New York and believes in the motto “where trend begins, and also the tradition continues”.
Today, Acra gowns can be found in some of the most exclusive retailers all over the world, including Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Over two dozen countries carry her designs, giving Acra a large international presence.
Gowns range from $4,000 to $10,000 and therefore are made exclusively in New York. Acra says her goal is perfect for the bride to feel special with what she’s wearing. If she gets special, then her wedding-day look will reflect how she gets.
When she’s not designing clothes, Acra keeps busy around the fashion world. She’s an energetic member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Bridal Council of America, and also the International Advisory Council from the American University of Beirut.
She used to be named harry potter's 7 most powerful Arab Women in the World by Forbes Magazine and it has received a number of other awards. She also appeared as a judge on the Middle Eastern reality show Fashion Star, where she mentored 12 up-and-coming designers.
We’re returning in time for Acra’s latest bridal collection “Love and Dream”. Acra definitely brought her Lebanese heritage into these designs and included some traditional elements.
The Austria gown is straight-up royalty using puff sleeves and an A-line silhouette. The Lebanon gown provides for us princess vibes however with a modern twist. Both look totally bring the wow factor!
Hot from the press is Acra’s Spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection “Soiree”. The designer says she accessed the at-home living vibe but nonetheless brought her signature glamour to the table.
We love the draping tulle around the first gown—it includes a dreamy, cloudy effect. The gold and teal gown can also be stunning using its deep V-neck and semi-sheer sleeves. We can totally picture this gown at a fancy tea party.
These A-list brides really sparkled on their wedding days, because of Acra! Both Tara Lipinski and Marcia Cross dazzled in their strapless, sweetheart neckline gowns. Ironically, the brides both said “I do” on June 24th (just 11 years apart). LeAnn Rimes also chose Acra on her big day—a surprise Friday-night wedding with 35 guests.
Actress Kaley Cuoco went all-in for her ball gown wedding dress. She decided on a custom lace gown having a matching cape. It took ten seamstresses nearly 400 hours to produce the stunning design. She looked totally amazing!
If you wrote down all of the celebrities who have worn Acra’s gowns, your list could be endless! The Lebanese designer is really a red-carpet favorite. Halle Berry stunned inside a sexy black-and-red number at the 2018 NAACP Image Awards, and Madonna wore an excellent glam gown at the 2012 Golden Globes. While it wasn’t a red carpet per se, J-Lo stole the show at the 2019 Governors Awards. The canary sleeveless gown using the dramatic bow back was amazing.
Taylor Swift is really a long-time client of Acra’s, and also the designer says the singer is just one of her muses. It was tough to narrow down to only one look, but we believe she dazzled in this light blue cut-out gown at the 2015 ACM awards.
Ten months later, Swift also sported a blush bridesmaid dress that coordinated together with her best friend Britany Maack’s wedding gown—another custom web design by Acra. The singer said she personally escorted her BFF towards the designer’s showroom to assist pick out the gown. They both looked so beautiful!