Ahlem teams up with singer Beck and strengthens its presence in California
Designer Ahlem Manai-Platt is living her best life: originally from Paris, Manai-Platt, a former buyer for Acne Studio, a former Prada employee, and who has managed her own luxury eyewear house for eight years, has just announced a significant new collaboration with the LA musician Beck.
“I have been an absolute Beck fan for a long time. And Beck has been a loyal client of the brand for a few years already. We met, we liked each other, discussed a lot of topics and almost naturally, the idea of a collaboration was born," explained the designer.
For Beck, Ahlem has created two models capable of reflecting the artist's personality, “a first in acetate, octagonal, and which suits his reserved temperament," says Ahlem Manai-Platt. "The other, in gold metal, clipped onto a pair of sunglasses, is designed for concerts and party nights, with day and night lenses." Each model is available in a limited edition of 50, in two colors, offered in a case with patterns made by the artist himself and sold in Ahlem boutiques as well as on the Mr Porter website.
For the release of the capsule collection, one which follows the collab with artist Leon Bridges, Beck also lent himself to an appearance in a promotional clip, improvising a song on the harmonica under blue and yellow lights, a metaphor for daylight.
The designer quickly attracted attention after the launch of her luxury glasses line for her elegant and creative frames all made in France, in the traditional eyewear region of Oyonnax and Morez. Now, she is looking towards a global expansion.
The Ahlem brand has been supported since its debut by celebrities Beyoncé, Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner, who have all worn its eyewear. The brand is now present in more than 400 stockists around the world.
After Los Angeles, Ahlem’s made-in-France glasses found an ideal location in early 2020 in New York, on the very trendy Elizabeth Street, in the Lower East Side area. The designer collaborated with the Shapeless Studio Architectures & Interiors agency and a few months later received the NYCXDESIGN 2021 Prize, which honors the most creative retail project every year.
Getting through the health crisis without disaster, Ahlem saw its sales jump again with the reopening of stores in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, the brand thus posted record growth of more than 186% compared to the last quarter of 2021. Developed in equity, the brand is expected to experience a breakthrough with the opening this summer of a third address in San Francisco. An event linked to the organic development of the brand and in which the designer wishes to express her creative freedom.
Now made up of 26 employees, the Ahlem brand has plans to generate chatter. The designer, who now shares her life between Los Angeles and Paris, will be revealing new collaborations with renowned designers in a few weeks. “I react to instinct, and dream one day of enlisting rapper Future, or why not Michael Kiwanuka -- two artists from whom I have a boundless admiration.”
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