It’s hard to believe that Tunisian Ahlem Manai-Platt entered the world of eyewear with nothing but passion, with factories reluctant to even meet with her. Six years later, a flagship in Venice, California, and more than 300 retailers worldwide, Manai-Platt’s next move is a new store in New York. And while the brand continues to thrive, its founder and designer keeps a close look on its commitment to sustainability and craftsmanship.
All eyewear is made in France, with Platt choosing factories equally committed to sustainability. “Antiquated equipment is swapped out for new technology that emits less carbon and consumes less electricity,” she explains. Neither metals nor acetates are discarded, and instead are reduced, reused, and recycled into new objects for sale. “We are committed to design that innovates and inspires, while setting new standards for environmental responsibility,” she affirms. “We should never have to compromise ethics for elegance.”
Manai-Platt presents Ahlem’s latest collection in a film created by husband and filmmaker, Bo Platt, deciding to move from still campaign shots to cinematic cat-and-mouse chase.
“I love the idea of revealing snippets of my brand’s ideology and aesthetic through short stories,” Manai-Platt shared. “I’ve done that previously through a series of pictures, but I have been eager to leap into film. The experience was made even better by the fact that I got to collaborate with my husband.”
Influences of La Nouvelle Vague film and modern-day Los Angeles blended together in a holistic representation of the brand, explained Platt. “I wanted to create something that was both elegant and playful, vulnerable and confident, stylish and intellectual, a little bit French because that’s who Ahlem is, but also expressly modern Los Angeles because that’s what our current life is.”