Ahlem opens NYC flagship
Ahlem, the eyewear brand from French designer Ahlem Manai-Platt, has opened its first New York flagship store.
Located in Nolita at 228 Elizabeth Street, the 500 square-foot boutique will house a variety of the brand's contemporary sun and optical eyewear styles, and will occasionally serve as a showroom, gallery, or event space, according to the CFDA. Inside, visiting customers can browse products and consult with an in-store technician for frame adjustments. The majority of Ahlem's eyewear styles are priced just under $500.
“The atelier is the essence of what I’m about and what continues to inspire me,” said Manai-Platt. “Here you might expect to try on a few frames, observe curious objects collected and curated by me, or simply sit with a book or sketchpad and stay awhile. And in my eyes, we’ve designed space with mindfulness so that it may function as more than an optical store. I see an opportunity to welcome young designers and artists in and showcase their work. I hope to invite creativity and inspire design.”
Designed in collaboration with Brooklyn architecture firm Shapeless Studio, the store space features natural materials and finishes in a rich color palette. In addition, the store is decorated with custom millwork and furniture pieces by Armada NY, including a set of sculptural walnut hardwood doors and open weave cane cabinetry.
“If there is one word that unifies our three practices—eyewear, architecture, and fabrication, it would be craft," said Andrea Fisk, principle at Shapeless Studio. 'We designed the store to be unique and beautiful, but also deferential to Ahlem’s carefully crafted eyewear."
Manai-Platt founded her brand in 2014, and has since become a CFDA Member and a runner-up of the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The Parisian-born designer is currently based in California, near the first Ahlem store in Venice.
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