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IN STYLE/Deciding Hope—Reem Acra

Posted on Feb 07,2012
Filed Under Fashion , Local Style,
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Dr. Stephen Brown, Ambassador Atoine Chedid, Reem Acra and Dr. Amin Barakat at the Saint George Children's Hospital Gala.
Dr. Stephen Brown, Ambassador Atoine Chedid, Reem Acra and Dr. Amin
Barakat at the Saint George Children's Hospital Gala.

By Tyler Sullivan
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. - There is something indescribable about the air of Reem Acra.
 
Her quiet yet vibrant eyes inhale the details of everything and everyone around her, constantly creating an almanac of specificity and creative luster. She exudes a collected calm, yet breathes a creative diligence that one could only aspire to understand, let alone master. She has dressed nearly the entirety of the red carpet, donning stars and starlets with her effortless and personality-encompassing designs… and yet, she still called me adorable.
 

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

As we sat down, the first thing I noticed was her nails: rhinestones, covering each one, composing a mini chandelier on each finger. The first four fingers composed a silver hue, but the pinky nails donned black gems—to me, foreshadowing the driven edge behind the allure of her otherwise intoxicating sheen.
 
“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” Acra 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.”
 
Immediately I was under her spell. She was warm, happy, open—alive. We sat down to tea and classical symphonies with harps plucking away in the background, and as the conversation flew I was deeper and deeper under the Acra elixir, intoxicated by her sense of wonder, hope, and decision.
 
“I think that people have sixth senses,” Acra said, 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.”
 
Innate in each of us, this sixth sense Acra describes is one that taps into our creative and emotional abilities, and our overall intuitive nature. How well we can understand and recreate something that is indicative and expressive of another.
 
Part of Acra’s uncanny sensibility is her attention to detail. Seemingly obsessive, her quick scans afford her a realm of knowledge that may take many of us hours to comprehend.
 

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

Her perplexing and yet flawless level of detail is evidenced in the success and intricacy of her designs. From her signature techniques of fluting and embroidery, she is able to create breath-taking one of a kind pieces that can transform and transcend a body.  
 
Yet designing fashion, for Acra, is not a solitary skill. The ability to design, create and perfect clothing comes along with the ability to be creative, and to use those creative sensibilities.
 
“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.”
 
And it is this mentality—of unwavering decision—that she has applied to her philanthropic efforts, geared completely around children.
 
“Children are the next generation,” said Acra, “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 Beruit, Acra is able to both attract a crowd for a cause and give back in a major way.

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

At the Inaugural Gala for Saint George Children’s Hospital, held at the Organization of American States, Acra not only donated her time and presence, but presented a fashion show for attendees, donated original pieces to the live auction, presented a gift bag to each guest, and brought a dance performance all the way from New York, of the Dancing Classrooms Youth Company. 
 
“So that is how I’m helping,” continued Acra. “It’s putting people together and figuring it out, and saying ‘Look, this is happening.’”
 
“Now I think it’s just the challenge... It’s always the challenge of figuring out how—how it expands and how do you stay on top of the game and how do you become better. It’s not just now designing… It’s just making sure that the next step is better than the first one. That’s what I enjoy now. Figuring out how—how does it get better?”
 
Decision, dreams, and action?  I’m in.



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