Ahlem Manai-Platt, a Paris born designer now mostly based in Los Angeles, is the mind behind . The brand has been seen on many fashion icons; such as Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, and Beyoncé. Founded in 2014, AHLEM has become known for its rigorous attention to detail, insistence on using exceptional materials, and their commitment to using sustainable methods in production.
Inspired by early 20th
century architecture, each AHLEM product tells a story. Every rame is sent to three specialised and into the hands of nine skilled craftspeople, whose experience has been passed down through generations. It is crucial to AHLEM that they maintain a loyal relationship with these artisans and that they preserve their knowledge and traditions, as they are the core to the brand itself.
All AHLEM frames are handcrafted using innovative technology leaving each with specific details that makes no two the same. An example of the techniques used by AHLEM is their triangle temple tip. The temple tip goes through a hand-painting process featuring burgundy, navy blue, or green colour accents - this design evokes the iconic Bauhaus visual language, which inspires a lot of AHLEM’s designs.
AHLEM also utilises a complicated goldsmith technique called Martelé.
hammering method can only be performed by the hand of an incredibly skilled expert leaving the resulting frames to all be entirely individual.
Then, of course, there is the classic AHLEM temple tip,
which uses hand-sourced vintage acetate, that is cut and inset onto a metal temple. Each piece of acetate is carved out and the AHLEM logo is then inlaid, resulting in a lengthy process that requires an enormous amount of attention to detail.
Recently AHLEM has released a new collection entitled AHLEM for Beck. This has been a widely anticipated collaboration with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee Beck, with whom Ahlem Manai has had long mutual respect for. Beck has often worn AHLEM specs in both his day-to-day life as well as on tour – as such a partnership between them felt like such a natural fit. The frame itself is sculped from plant-sourced Italian acetate – implementing more sustainable materials. The collection also incorporates a few of Becks favourite design signatures that can be found on other AHLEM products, such as the classic keyhole bridge, a Deco-style step bisecting the midline, a Bauhaus accent on the temple core, and unexpected geometry. These AHLEM signature attributes, while also incorporating new collaborative elements, allows for a distinctive AHLEM collection that still retains its core brand aesthetic.