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Parisian-born and Sorbonne-educated, allow me introduce you to the founder of today’s eponymic Indy brand, Ahlem Manai-Platt. While her days were spent at Sorbonne, by night, Ahlem immersed herself in photography and drawing classes at a local arts school. Though she never intended to be a designer, fate led this aspiring journalist to discover her true calling in a Parisian cafe. A casual eyeglass sketch shared among friends unveiled her future calling, ultimately resulting in the establishment of Ahlem in 2014. From the flagship LA headquarters to ateliers in New York City, San Francisco, and Paris, Ahlem has swiftly become a global powerhouse, blending artistry with entrepreneurial prowess.

While her eyewear graces magazine covers and photos with notable celebrity appeal, Ahlem gauges her success through the people that help make this all happen and the company's steadfast dedication to sustainability.

Emphasizing solely the finest plant-based acetates and utilizing compostable packaging, they are dedicated to upholding their commitment to sustainable practices in every aspect of creation. Operating factories both in South France and Japan, Ahlem's frames are crafted in small batches, upholding heirloom-quality attention to detail and maintaining environmentally conscious practices throughout production. Adhering to the DRIRE's standards, a testament to France's leadership in environmental production ethics, Ahlem strives to minimize industrial waste, ensuring authentic French-made eyewear regardless of the factory of origin.

The meticulous attention to detail is unmistakable, showcasing Bauhaus-style characteristics in every aspect of an Ahlem frame. Whether it's the proprietary 5-Barrel hinge design, the distinctive round and triangle-adorned accents, or the engraved titanium nosepads, these exceptional designs and remarkable details resonate profoundly with true eyewear enthusiasts.

French artisans lavish ample love and luxury on each metal frame, employing martelé hammering techniques for individuality. Laser-engraved heirloom filigree accents and hand-painted temple tips, available in a limited yet exclusive array of colors, add unique touches. A lavish electro-dipped 22k gold bath fortifies each piece, making them anti-corrosive, anti-oxidizing, and "age-resistant." Finally, adorned with eco-friendly lenses, these frames are set to defy all odds. Despite the impeccable craftsmanship, every Ahlem frame comes with a limited one-year warranty, providing assurance against any possible manufacturer's defects that might occur during its journey.

Extending beyond the initial purchase, Ahlem buyers can participate in the ReFramed program when they're ready to say goodbye to the old and embrace something new. Returning their previous frame not only earns them credit toward a fresh choice but also breathes new life into their old frame. Upon arrival, each frame undergoes assessment to determine the credit value for the client before getting restored to it's former glory and becoming a new one-of-a-kind heirloom frame. The refreshed frames are offered for repurchase at a fraction of their original price, with all proceeds from ReFramed sales benefiting the New Eyes Organization.

If you're as intrigued as I am and wish to own a pair, kick off your journey with a 40-minute live video styling session scheduled on their website. While Bespoke fittings may demand an in-person appointment and come with a higher cost, the average price for new Ahlem frames is around $550, and they are even eligible for HSA/FSA.

As we conclude our exploration of Ahlem's visionary eyewear, it's evident that each frame is a blend of artistry and sustainability. From meticulous craftsmanship to the innovative ReFramed program, Ahlem embodies eyewear excellence. Join the Ahlem community to redefine your style with timeless elegance that tells your unique story. Embrace brands where every detail matters, and every purchase makes an impact. Start with this one.

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