Fashionable Life: One on One With Reem Acra

Designer combines creative skills and industry success to give back in a fashionable way.
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Dr. Stephen Brown, Ambassador Atoine Chedid, and Dr. Amin Barakat at the Saint George Children's Hospital Gala.

Reem Acra‘s quiet yet vibrant eyes inhale the details of everything and everyone around her, constantly creating an almanac of specificity and creative luster. She exudes collected calm, yet breathes creative diligence. She has dressed stars and starlets with her effortless and personality-encompassing design and yet she still called me adorable.

As we sit, the first thing I notice are her nails: rhinestones, covering each one, composing a mini chandelier on each digit. The first four fingers compose a silver hue, but the pinky nails don black gems— foreshadowing her driven edge.

“I was sure even before I started that I was going to be successful,” Acra began. “Knowing and deciding that you are going to be successful is the key to everything.

“It’s whatever you do, even if it’s just a small thing during the day” she explained. “If you say I’m going to do this, it means you will do it. But if you have a doubt in your mind, you will not… If you set the goal and you’re sure, of course you can achieve it, and then you can and you will. There’s no two ways.”

She continues to speak warmly and openly over tea. A harp plucks away in the background. “I think that people have sixth senses,” she asserts, reflecting on her career and creative success, “but some people use it more than others. I just tune-in to that part of my sensibility. And it helps.”

Part of Acra’s uncanny sensibility is her attention to detail, which is evident in the intricacy of her designs, including her signature techniques of fluting and embroidery.

“I think fashion is like anything else– if you are creative, then you could be creative in fashion, or in interior, or in anything else. There are a lot of creative people out there and could be doing any of these. So I don’t have a particular affinity to fashion, I have an affinity to creation.”

But this affinity does not come without decision. Chance, luck, fate– to Acra, are all dependent on will, choice and action.

“I think it’s when you take a chance and you decide” Acra explained, recalling her own entry into the world of fashion. “But you know I had made the decision. I made a decision then and I said that if my parents were going to send me overseas, all the way to New York, I wasn’t going to fail. There was no chance.”

This mentality transcends to her philanthropic efforts as well.

“Children are the next generation,” she explains, “and I am trying to help them as much as I can. I am helping the children to be happy.”

Combining her creative skills and industry success with organizations such as Saint George Children’s Hospital in Beirut, Acra is able to both attract a crowd for a cause and give back in a major way

At the Inaugural Gala for Saint George Children’s Hospital, held at the Organization of American States, Acra presented a fashion show and donated original pieces to the live auction. In addition, she supplied gift bags and brought in the Dancing Classrooms Youth Company from New York.

“[This] is how I’m helping,” she continued. “It’s putting people together and figuring it out, and saying ‘Look, this is happening.’”

What is happening is that Acra is finding a way to make the world a more charitable and fashionable place.

Guests of the Saint George Children's Hospital Gala at the Hall of the Americas, Washington DC.

Acra featured designs from her 2012 collection in a mini fashion show.

Acra began her career designing bridal, showcasing her techniques of fluting and embroidery.

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