Sunglass Queen Ahlem Manai-Platt Shares Her Design-Focused Favorites

By Laura Eckstein Jones | April 22, 2020 | People


Walk down Abbot Kinney and you’ll find not one, not two, but six eyewear shops. But Ahlem, a jewel-box boutique filled with books, sculpture and a tight selection of luxurious glasses and sunnies, stands out. “We put so much detail and attention into every component of our glasses,” says founder Ahlem Manai-Platt, who works with craftspeople in France on the limited-edition, handmade specs. “The quality is not subjective. I think that is the biggest difference for us.” Inspired by everything from Parisian culture to Venice Beach, Manai-Platt names the Bauhaus movement of the early 20th century as a driving force. “My designs reflect the Bauhaus commitment to craftsmanship, functionality and simplicity,” says Manai-Platt, who, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is donating 25% of every eyewear purchase online to No Kid Hungry. Here, the Venice resident shares what's on her current wish list.


“I love how this watch’s dial can be reversed and flip inward.” Reverso classic small timepiece in stainless steel, $4,050, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Beverly Hills,


“These flats are super simple, but the metal anklet straps add a little flash.” Ballerina flats, $690, by Jil Sander at


“This chair is on my wish list! I love the design.” 1950s brown wooden teak and cane lounge chairs, two for $27,428, by Pierre Jeanneret at


“I like the combination of this linen and leatherlike jacket.” Kayla jacket, $580,


“This strong ring can revolve and be worn inside or out. For moments of creativity, turning it inward gives a strength of energy, or you could wear it outward to exhort your power.” Les Gardiens ring, price upon request,


“The mixture of color—not so orange and not so red—makes this lipstick perfect for wearing day and night.” Rouge Hermès matte lipstick in Rouge Casaque, $67, Hermès, Beverly Hills,


“I love our new Vivienne frame! It’s big and comfortable.” Vivienne frame in light turtle, $455, Ahlem, Venice,

Tags: shopping

Photography by: portrait by Ashley Barrett; product photos courtesy of brands