Reem Acra will be honored as Marymount Universitys 2016 Designer of the Year at the schools annual student fashion show, Portfolio in Motion, on April 28 in the Rose Benté Lee Center on Marymounts main campus. The award is presented to a designer who has achieved excellence in the field and has captured the imagination of both the fashion industry and public. Previous honorees have included Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Isabel Toledo, Eileen Fisher, Tadashi Shoji and the late Oscar de la Renta.
Acras designs epitomize global glamour, with European style, a sense of luxury and a modern aesthetic.
Shes an adored designer by everyday people, celebrities and royalty, said Janice Ellinwood, chair of Marymounts Fashion Merchandising Department. People choose her for important occasions and always find in her collections something that they feel reflects glamour for the occasion, especially the very biggest day, at their own wedding.
Ellinwood said Acra, a native of Lebanon, is known globally.
She reflects the value Marymount puts on global perspective, she said, noting that the university has undergraduates from nearly 70 countries.
While attending the American University of Beirut, Acra was discovered by a fashion editor who was captivated by a lavishly embroidered silk organza gown Acra wore to a party made from her mothers dining room tablecloth. The editor instantly offered to host a fashion show for Acra that took place 10 days later. She went on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and its Paris counterpart École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD).
After a short stint as an interior designer, she returned to her fashion roots while working in Hong Kong and New York. A friend wore Acras first bridal design to her society wedding, sparking international interest for the designer, and Reem Acra Bridal was born.
In 1997, Acra launched her fashion business with a bridal collection that quickly became recognized for its elegance and impeccable designs. The success led to the introduction of the Reem Acra prêt-a-porter collection six years later. Similar to its bridal counterpart, the collection features meticulously constructed designs ranging from understated chic to ornate. It is distinctly modern but marked by rich color, lush fabrics, playful patterns and flawless construction.
Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her following includes Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Eva Longoria, Kristen Stewart, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift, as well as royal families around the world.
Her collections are carried by some of the worlds most exclusive retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols. Acra is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and serves on the Board of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council.
Portfolio in Motion is the culminating academic project for Marymounts fashion design and merchandising students. Every aspect from the jury-selected student designs to all elements of the shows production reflects their academic and creative efforts. After seeing the show, Acra will review the senior fashion design students portfolios and share her expertise and give advice as they begin their careers.
Reem Acras designs epitomize global glamour, with European style, a sense of luxury and a modern aesthetic. She will be honored as Marymount Universitys 2016 Designer of the Year at the schools annual student fashion show, Portfolio in Motion, on April 28 in the Rose Benté Lee Center on Marymounts main campus in Arlington, Virginia.