27-05-23 By: Michael Stent
Ahlem Eyewear: An In-Depth Guide
Introduction to Ahlem Eyewear:
Ahlem Eyewear is a luxury eyewear brand renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship, timeless designs, and commitment to sustainable production. Founded by Ahlem Manai-Platt, the brand combines her Tunisian heritage with the vibrant energy of Los Angeles but where she draws the most inspiration is the street, landmarks and iconic neighbourhoods of Paris. In this blog post, we delve into the roots of Ahlem, explore the founder’s vision, and highlight some of the brand’s remarkable collections.
1. The Origins and Inspiration:
Ahlem Manai-Platt’s Tunisian roots played a crucial role in shaping the brand’s aesthetic and values. Growing up in Paris, she was surrounded by the effortless elegance and meticulous attention to detail found in French craftsmanship. Drawing inspiration from both cultures and vintage eyewear of years gone by, Ahlem sought to create eyewear that encapsulated timeless sophistication and artisanal excellence.
2. The Visionary Founder:
Ahlem Manai-Platt, the visionary founder of Ahlem Eyewear, has a remarkable background in the fashion industry. After studying art history, she gained experience at prestigious fashion houses such as Lanvin and APC. This extensive knowledge, combined with her passion for eyewear, led her to create her eponymous brand in 2014.
3. Outstanding Craftsmanship and Production:
Ahlem Eyewear sets itself apart through its dedication to craftsmanship. Each frame is meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans in France’s Jura region, renowned for its rich heritage in eyewear production. The process involves a delicate balance of traditional techniques and innovative technologies to create frames that are both visually stunning and comfortable to wear. Every frame passes through the hands of as many as nine artisan frame makers who have all honed their skills in different aspects of frame making and between them they complete as many as 200 processes to complete an Ahlem frame.
Thanks to this meticulous attention to detail Ahlem Manai-Platt believes every person who owns an Ahlem frame is wearing heirloom quality eyewear.
The brand uses premium materials such as Mazzucchelli acetate, a plant-based, eco-friendly material that ensures durability and exceptional quality. The frames are then meticulously polished and assembled, with attention paid to every detail, resulting in eyewear that exudes luxury and sophistication.
4. Exquisite materials used by Ahlem:
Mazzuchelli is a 6th generation family-owned acetate producer in Lombardy, Italy. They produce the finest acetate in Europe and also supply one Thierry Lasry another French eyewear brand named after the founder himself that we also stock here at Ace Eyewear.
Christian Dalloz Lenses:
All Ahlem sunglass lenses are supplied by French lens manufacturer Christian Dalloz who have been producing the finest lenses for over 60 years. The lenses offer UVA & B protection and come with a superior-quality anti-reflection coating. One of our favourite lenses they offer is a graduated green lens infused with gold glitter. How you wonder? Well, you have to pop in and check them out.
This lens is available in the Varrenne, Diana, Abbesses and many more.
Alongside the heirloom quality frame, each Ahlem frame and sunglasses include:
- Premium Vegan Leather Case: Ahlem frames come with a luxurious vegan leather case designed to protect your eyewear when not in use. Crafted with high-quality leather and secure closure, the case ensures that your frames are safe from scratches and damage.
- A Larger Microfiber Cleaning Cloth: Included with each Ahlem frame is a microfiber cleaning cloth which is a beautiful artist’s sketch of Los Angeles. This soft and gentle cloth is ideal for keeping your lenses clean and free from smudges or dust. It effectively removes dirt and fingerprints, maintaining the clarity and visual appeal of your eyewear.
- A Drawstring Microfibre Pouch: Matching the dark green vegan leather case this pouch allows you to protect the frame and lenses from scratching if you don’t have your case to hand and can also be used to clean the lenses.
Ahlem Celebrity Sightings and Press Features:
Ahlem Manai-Platt and her brand have been garnering global attention and global fans, over the last 18 months have been featured in the GQ, Elle, Vogue, Finacial Times, Mens Health, Monocole and many many more. Here frames adorned the front pages of GQ in May 2022 when rapper Future wore four different pairs for his cover shoot, The Place de la Madeline, Quai Branly, St Germain and Grenelle which is also the sunglasses that actor Tom Holland also wore for GQ.
Celebrity fans include LeBron James who wears the Rivoli and Grenelle sunglasses but has also had five one-of-a-kind frames designed by Ahlem for him earlier this year. Musician Charlie Puth wears Rue Bosquet in Dark Green and Smokelight, Jennifer Aniston wears Montorgueil and Rue de Charonne, Natalie Portman was recently spotted at Cannes wearing Babylone and Seth Rogan wears Rue Servan in Smokelight.
The Ahlem Spring Summer 2023 Collection
The Ahlem Spring Summer 2023 is all about the self-expression and showmanship of jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Pharooh Sanders which was so prevalent during the original jazz era of the 1950’s and 60’s. With her latest collection, she is bringing back the black-out cat-eye that was worn by many male jazz musicians on stage to block out the bright lights of the stage.
Ahlem – Pont Mirabeau
When we first saw this frame we just knew it would be loved by our clients thanks to it’s striking similarities to the Pont Des Arts which has been an Ahlem staple for many years. This angular frame features a very soft angular uplift or cat eye making it a bold, characterful piece for both ladies and gents. It is available as an optical frame in colours brownlight and petrol light and as sunglasses in a classic light turtle and in a natural, earthy green named foglight.
Ahlem – Varenne Sunglasses
The Varenne is another elegant, retro-inspired, 22k gold-plated sunglass that features her much loved Green Glitter Gradient lenses. A perfect sunglass for a lovely sun-drenched lunch on the balcony of a Cannes hotel.
Ahlem – New York
This is a trend-setting aviator with a single bar bridge and essential green lenses. Hand crafted as always in Oyonnax, France and electroplated in champagne 22k gold plated.
Autumn Winter 2022 Collection
The Autumn Winter collection was launched at the Palais Galleria in Paris in September 2023 with the signature frame being a limited-edition collaboration with Palais Galleria also known as the Museum of Fashion. The frame encapsulates the Gallaria’s extensive fashion archives with Ahlem’s modern minimalist frame design.
The frame is a limited edition production of aviator-style, acetate frames featuring 8mm acetate and the usual mix of raw and polished finishes that Ahlem uses so well. The Ahlem x Palais Galleria is available in a number of colours from Dark Turtle to the soft and ever-popular Smokelight acetate.
Our Favourite Ahlem Frames & Sunglasses
First launched in 2016 and re-designed to it’s current form in 2017, the Abbesses is a panto-round sunglass that is great for a petite feminine face. Year after year they have added new colours as it grows in popularity and is now available in seven great colours from the soft and summery Dry Pampas and Old Fashioned Rose to the classic Peach and Light Turtle.
Named after Avenue Segur, one of Ahlem Mania-Platt’s favourite streets in Paris. The Segur is a large round frame that portrays the wide boulevard of the street it is named after. As with all Ahlem frames it features here Bauhaus inspired metal temple core.
Now we know we shouldn’t play favourites but this is probably our favourite and most popular pair of sunglasses. It’s perfect blend of round edge and flat lines makes this a stunning unisex frame. Known by Ahlem as their blackout sunglasses this frame is worn by LeBron James and many other discerning sunglass wearers around the world, it is available in a number of colours including Indigolight, Peach, Old Fashioned Rose and Dark Turtle.
The Saint Dominique is one of just a few rectangular frames in the Ahlem collection but a very important one. This frame features a mix of raw and polished finishes along with a bevel on the top rim of the frame. It’s lower set bridge makes it the perfect frame for glasses wearers who have a high brow line.
Released as part of the Fall Winter 22 Collection the Bellechase is one of the first frames really tailored for the larger-headed gentleman amongst us. Ahlem describes her envisaged wearer of this frame as wearing a precisely tailored suit while sitting on a terrace in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. We have also found this frame works great as an oversized style for ladies. This frame also features thick 12mm deep temples which are inspired by the 60’s but feel incredibly current and are a feature on all of the Fall Winter 22 collection that included the Rivoli and Volontaires.
Rue Du Theatre
This is a vintage-inspired panto frame re-imagined for the 21st century. This frame is perfect for the petite lady or gent who wishes to showcase their confidence with a bolder frame but one that compliments their features and does not overpower them.
This frame features a unique nose bridge design that is also featured on the Saint Dominque that required a custom tool to be designed and built at the time just to manufacture these particular styles but this design has now become popular among many other designs including the Pont Mirabeau and Segur.
A popular frame amongst our discerning Wimbledon clientele the Rue Bosquet is a traditional round eye but with a distinct flat top rim making it perfect for a wearer with a flatter more subtle brow line and diamond or square face shapes. This frame is available in a number of colours including Smokelight, Dark Green, Indigolight and Dark Turtle.
Ahlem Eyewear is a testament to the fusion of traditional craftsmanship, timeless design, and sustainable production practices. Founded by Ahlem Manai-Platt, the brand represents her vision of creating eyewear that exudes sophistication, elegance, and a sense of cultural heritage.
With their commitment to quality, meticulous attention to detail, and a diverse range of collections, Ahlem Eyewear continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts around the world. Whether you’re seeking a classic Parisian aesthetic or a modern LA-inspired look, Ahlem’s frames offer an opportunity to express your individuality with style and grace.
If you would like to browse the Ahlem collection you can do so through our online shop, by booking a styling consultation where we will assess your face shape, features and colour palette to advise on the perfect frame for you or if you find yourself wondering around Wimbledon village just pop and say hello.
Have a great day,
Michael – Owner & Eyewear Curator at Ace Eyewear, Wimbledon