Designer Ahlem Manai-Platt has the sort of effortless Parisian style fashion girls die for. A former photo journalist and fashion buyer, Manai-Platt launched her namesake luxury eyewear brand in 2014. In 2016, she marked the brand’s two-year anniversary by opening Ahlem Venice Studio, a retail concept and studio space in Venice, CA. Designed in Los Angeles, handmade by artisans in Oyonnax, France, and crafted from Italian acetate from Mazzucchelli, the collection embodies the “unaffected air of undone Parisian style.” It is style with a certain je ne sais quoi that is hard to capture when not naturally born to it, but thanks to Manai-Platt, at least now we’ve got the eyewear covered.
- "The collection is inspired by the city of Paris and its streets. Paris is in my DNA, and therefore never leaves me. It is this effortless chic that makes the Ahlem glasses so recognizable."
- "I am also very inspired by architecture, and especially architecture from the ’50s, as well as interior designers like Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. Additionally, I am very attentive to the work of Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen or Paul Henningsen and their love for a line that is pure without too much ornament."
- "During production, our frames are passed between three separate ateliers — nine artisans work on just one frame, and each pair is meticulously handcrafted, taking more than a week to produce."
- "I remember seeing this portrait (RIGHT) of Truman Capote by Irving Penn a long time ago and became fascinated by his way of playing with the light and shadows. The frames in Truman’s hand next to his closed eyes is such a poetic irony that makes this picture the coolest in my opinion."
- "If I weren’t making eyewear, I would be designing watches."
Ahlem Mania-Platt Reviews Her Own Creations
"The Voltaire Rose Gold (2016) are probably my favorite eyeglasses. I secretly wish I had a vision correction so I could wear them all the time!"
"The Saint Germain Classic Turtle (2014) is the first frame I ever designed; it’s a very easy shape for men and women. I have a sentimental attachment to them."
"The Madeleine Champagne Windsor (2016) are my go-to and are always in my bag. It’s a no-brainer frame that goes with everything."
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of INVISION.