Fashion designer Reem Acra has made a name for herself as the creator of glamorous and luxurious dresses and accessories. She has become famous for her exquisite bridalwear collection and her ready-to-wear and couture designs are often seen on the likes of Angelina Jolie and Eva Longoria. We caught up with Acra to find out more about her style inspiration. See her answers below.
Who is your style icon and why?
I am always influenced by my mother's impeccable style and high taste level. From a young age we would spend Saturdays together in the souks of Beirut where she would teach me how to select fabrics for my wardrobe. She was a great teacher and I have never forgotten her lessons.
What's the one piece of clothing that every women needs in her wardrobe?
The one essential piece to build any wardrobe around is the perfect pair of black leggings. If they are the right material and weight they can be worn for day or evening; travelling or at home. There is nothing that a good black legging can't do. For me they are the most essential piece of my wardrobe. I like to be comfortable especially during the busy work week and you know us designers - we have to always look stylish even when we are draping!
Which other designers do you most admire and why?
I had the opportunity this summer to slip out of my studio and see two amazing retrospectives. Yves Saint Laurent's in Paris and the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. These men were both creative geniuses and the exhibitions were both fascinating for me to see. I am also a big fan of Alber Elbaz – you can tell by his work how brilliant he is.
Describe the best outfit you have ever worn.
As a young girl, I would design my own wardrobe with our live – in seamstress. When I was 7 years old, I made the most wonderful navy polka dot dress that was trimmed with a red ruffle, also with white polka dots. I loved that dress and was heartbroken when I grew out of it. I felt like a real star in it and have never forgotten it.
How and where do you do your best work?
I travel a lot and luckily, I am able to work where ever I am so I have gotten used to that. With four ready to wear collections and two bridal collections to produce, I often do my best work with the pressure of a deadline.
What's the most fashionable city in the world?
Even though I live in New York, there's no doubt in my mind that the most fashionable city in the world is Paris. Everything about it – the people, the food, the atmosphere all mix together to make it très chic!
What's your best piece of fashion advice?
The most important piece of fashion advice I can give is to make sure that your clothes fit! You can look equally stunning in a dress from Topshop or a dress from Lanvin as long as it fits properly. I see so many women wearing the wrong sized clothing all over the world - it's epidemic!