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DESIGN INSPIRED BY DESTINATION – The One&Only Heritage Collection by Jay Ahr

One&Only Resorts is celebrating the art of travel by launching the exclusive, One&Only Heritage Collection by Jay Ahr, a limited edition of custom-designed vintage Louis Vuitton Keepalls.  Drawing on the natural beauty and rich culture of each location of One&Only, every bespoke bag is a blend of timeless travel and distinctive craftmanship, reflecting the One&Only ethos of exceptional beauty and unique charm

 

Sourced from the 10 global resort destinations, each treasured bag has been hand-picked and transformed with the highest quality embroidery that Jay Ahr is renowned for.  The bespoke designs are inspired by the local heritage, celebrating each destination.  Every authentic Louis Vuitton Keepall is traced to its provenance, and informs a design that continues to tell a story.  Only two bags have been designed for each resort, each completely distinct in design, and are exclusively available for purchase from One&Only

 

Fashion is an intrinsic part of our guests’ lives,” commented Philippe Zuber, Chief Operating Officer, Kerzner International.  “Collaborating with the incredibly creative artist Jonathan Riss for Jay Ahr allows us to create something truly bespoke for our guests that inspires dreams of travel, trips of discovery and a deep connection with the destination.  These bags are timeless, and all have a story to tell

 

With a consistent yet evolving appreciation for fashion, One&Only has partnered with several high calibre designers over the years – from Alice Temperley and Christian Louboutin to Missoni and Knowlita – to create exclusive items for the resorts’ discerning guests

 

With The Heritage Collection, One&Only is the perfect partner as truly each bag I produce is the one and only bag,” commented Founder & Artist, Jonathan Riss.  “I love to discover different cultures and destinations and each One&Only resort is a true celebration of that.  Transforming these vintage bags adds to the storied life span with something different, new and compellingly modern

 

Born in Paris and growing up in Brussels, Jonathan Riss spent time immersed in the work of modern and contemporary artists. Captivated by travel at a young age, he left Belgium after school for Ukraine where he developed his skills, designing fabrics and embroidery. He eventually started his own embroidery atelier in Mumbai, but longing to launch his own brand, he returned to Paris to introduce JAY AHR.  Founded in 2005, JAY AHR (the name is a phonetic spelling of Riss’ initials) is a collection of bold pieces comprised of innovative fabrics and embroidery, celebrating his passion for travel, design, art and culture

 

Every country where there is a One&Only resort, has either a bag showcasing the national flag or the representative passport of that country.  A second bag is available for each resort with a design that epitomizes the inspiring location that was hand-picked for the resort, in celebration of the destination. Each resort, just as each bag, reflects the One&Only independent spirit, showcasing a passion for life and for travel

 

The custom re-design of these legendary bags breathes new life into every piece, meaning each one is a rare find as each has a distinct past as well as new signature and identity.  Made from Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram canvas that only gets better with age, the original craftsmanship is unrivalled and the One&Only Heritage Collection of repurposed investment pieces builds on this history, transforming the legacy into a sustainable and timeless icon. Just like any good story, these collectors’ items are passed from one owner to another – a treasure never to be disposed of, but loved from one generation to the next

 

In addition to this very exclusive collection, Jay Ahr will be designing a capsule of luggage tag, travel pouch and travel tote bespoke for each resort.  Reflecting the authentic design and celebration of each destination, each item will act as a nod to memories experienced at each One&Only resort around the world.  Perfect for collectors, a badge of honour to be cherished.  Each of these items are sold exclusively at each One&Only around the world

 

To purchase one of the limited-edition bags, contact neoboutique@oneandonlyresorts.com. For more information, please visit oneandonlyresorts.com

 

: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia

The One&Only National bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983 and celebrates sovereign states around the world. Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  This national bag was found in Sydney and originally ‘flown’ in September 1989

Although Australia is a relatively young country, the indigenous Aboriginal Australians trace their lineage back to truly ancient times.  Aboriginal artwork is vivid, powerful and often used for sacred ceremonies and to convey the deep spirituality within nature.  Found in Perth and originally from June 1989, this bag for Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley combines the lyrics to “Beds are Burning” by rock band Midnight Oil, bringing contemporary culture into harmony with that of the past

Australia

 

: One&Only Cape Town, South Africa

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world. Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag. This national bag was found in Johannesburg and originally ‘flown’ in March 1987

For One&Only Cape Town, this one-of-a-kind piece is a tribute to the country’s inspiring past leader, Nelson Mandela, who showed the world the path to peace with courage, compassion, humility and dignity. The design reflects Nelson Mandela’s unmatched ability to unite opposing sides against all odds.  Sourced from Cape Town, this bag was crafted in April 1994, the first year of his historic Presidency

 

One&Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia

: Opening 6 September 2020

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world.  Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag was found in Kuala Lumpur and was originally ‘flown’ in August 1992

Nothing evokes the romanticism of exploring the jungle than discovering relics from an ancient civilisation.  Whether on the Peninsula or Borneo, statues and carvings are an integral part of the local scenery in Malaysia, some shiny and new, like the newest One&Only resort, others partially hidden by foliage, waiting to be uncovered.  This bag was first discovered in March 2003 in Kuala Lumpur

 

 

: One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, Rwanda

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world.  Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag was originally ‘flown’ in June 1989

Rwanda is home to some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world.  These gentle, majestic creatures share 98% of the same DNA with all of us and have a highly developed social structure and have been recorded to show remarkable compassion.  This design for One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, was born into the family in June 1991, and has been custom-designed to showcase a jungle motif interlaced with the Rwanda national anthem

A minimalist design with its bold uppercase font reflecting the strength of the Rwandan people.  The name of Rwanda straddles divisions, demonstrating the power of both unity and diversity.  Originally produced in February 1998, this bag has been refashioned as a statement of pride

 

 

: One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda

An interpretation of the Rwandan national flag super-imposed over the lyrics to the national anthem.  Rwanda Nziza, meaning ‘Beautiful Rwanda’, was the winning entry of a national competition. The lyrics were written by Vedaste Munyaneza of the Karubanda prison and melody by Captain Jean-Bosco Hashakaimana of the Rwandan army brass band.  Originally made in January 2002, when Rwanda Nziza became the national anthem

For One&Only Nyungwe House, inspired by the vibrant textile patterns of Rwanda, this design fuses the lyrics from ‘Million Voices’ by Wyclef Jean, written for the award-winning film, ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and an abstract of the golden Rwanda sun that represents enlightenment.  This bag has been collecting voices since July 1992

 

: One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world.  Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag, sourced from Pemba, was originally ‘flown’ in January 1988

Paisley is an ornamental textile design that originated in Persia, was enhanced in India and takes its name from a town in the West of Scotland where it came to be produced. The intricate design of this bag for One&Only Le Saint Géran, originally from June 1994, and found in Pemba, reflects the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual nature of Mauritius and celebrates the Seven Coloured Earths.  A geological formation found in the Chamarel plain in the southwest of the country, rains have carved beautiful patterns into the hillside, creating an effect of earthen meringue

 

One&Only Mandarina, Mexico

: Opening November 2020

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world.  Jay Ahr’s signature technique of distressed embroidery reflects the individual journey of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag was originally ‘flown’ in February 1988

For One&Only Mandarina, Jay Ahr took inspiration from the Xiuhpōhualli, a 365-day solar calendar used by the Aztec of Central Mexico composed of 18 months of 20 days each with 5 days ‘of nothing’ added at the end.  This time was usually for festivals, or the perfect short break.  This bag has been travelling through time since June 1995

 

: One&Only Palmilla, Mexico

The Passport collection celebrates pride in national identity, whilst also being an overt statement of international travel. They are also a playful wink to the iconic status of these instantly recognisable bags – my bag is my passport , This passport bag was first ‘issued’ in July 1990 and sourced from Mexico City

The Day of the Dead is a wildly colourful national holiday in Mexico to celebrate friends and family no longer with us, but not forgotten, and is the inspiration behind the design for One&Only Palmilla. This playful embroidery design breathes new life into this bag, originally made in April 1987 and found in Tulum.  Accompanied by the uplifting lyrics of Tito Puente’s ‘Oye Como Va’ so it too can continue on with its journey

 

One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

: Opening October 2020

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world. Jay Ahr’s distressed embroidery technique reflects the individual journey over time of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National Bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag, found in the Balkans, was originally ‘flown’ in April of the same year

Montenegro, the destination for One&Only Portonovi, One&Only’s first resort in Europe, has an incredibly rich and varied history that can be enjoyed – from prehistoric rock art to Roman mosaics, a virtually untouched Venetian naval town and vibrant art inside Orthodox churches. Which this colourful bag, made in February 1986 and found in the Adriatic, features with an underlay of a prayer in Cyrillic text

 

: One&Only Reethi Rah, The Maldives

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world. Jay Ahr’s distressed embroidery technique reflects the individual journey over time of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National Bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag, found in Mumbai, was originally ‘flown’ in April 1987

One&Only Reethi Rah is surrounded by crystal clear waters and rich marine life which have inspired Jay Ahr’s design. This bag first surfaced in May 1998, and later found in the Indian Ocean, shows the underwater world flowing over the lyrics of ‘Evanguvi’ by local Maldivian band Zero Degree Atoll

 

: One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

An interpretation of the United Arab Emirates national flag is super-imposed over the lyrics to the national anthem. The lyrics are written in a heavily stylised calligraphy reflecting the elegant simplicity of the original local architecture.  This bag, found in the UAE, was originally made in July 1994

At One&Only Royal Mirage the traditions of Arabia combine with contemporary luxury, as reflected in Jay Ahr’s design reflecting the craftsmanship and heritage of carpet weaving and warm Arabian hospitality. The signature distressed embroidery technique references the Pazyryk Carpet, the oldest known carpet in the world.  Not quite from the 5th Century B.C., this bag was originally crafted in October 1998

Dubai

 

: One&Only The Palm, Dubai

The Passport collection celebrates pride in national identity, whilst also being an overt statement of international travel. The Green Passport is a ‘Special Passport’, issued to members of the Federal National Council, members of the royal family, and retired high-ranking government officials and their families. The passport can also be issued by a federal decision from the Supreme Federal Council to Emirati state representatives. The bag is also a playful wink to the iconic status of these instantly recognisable bags – my bag is my passport

This bag was first ‘issued’ in February 1995 and sourced from Sharjah , This bespoke piece for One&Only The Palm is inspired by the Keffiyeh, a traditional Arab headdress worn throughout the region. Although the different patterns, colours and styles of wearing represent different tribes and identities, they are united by their protection against the sun, wind and sand. This bag, originally purchased in March 1990 and found in the Gulf, has an Arabic script overlay

 

One&Only One Za’abeel, Dubai

: opening 2021

The Passport collection celebrates pride in national identity, whilst also being an overt statement of international travel. The Red Passport is a ‘Diplomatic Passport’ is issued to diplomats serving in Emirati embassies abroad and to high-ranking officials from the executive branch and their families during their period of service.  The bag is also a playful wink to the iconic status of these instantly recognisable bags  – my bag is my passport

This bag was first ‘issued’ in April 1982 and sourced from Abu Dhabi , The modern-day Dubai skyline is a powerful symbol of the ingenuity of mankind and a testament to the vision of the Emirate.  However, Dubai is not a city that is defined by its buildings alone.  This bag for One&Only One Za’abeel, built over 30 years ago in June 1989 and found in Dubai, is partially covered with a blessing from the Quran, reflecting the spirituality of this incredible city

 

One&Only Kéa Island, Greece

: In development

The National Bag series celebrates sovereign states around the world. Jay Ahr’s distressed embroidery technique reflects the individual journey over time of each nation, with the pattern being unique to each and every bag.  The One&Only National Bag collection is comprised of individually sourced bags dating back to 1983.  This national bag, found in Paros, was originally ‘flown’ in April 1996

For One&Only Kéa Island, Jay Ahr has sought inspiration from the diversity and innovation of the ancient world. Roman aqueducts still standing across the Greek islands are a wonderful reminder of the remarkable past, as are the ancient Greek letters that are still in use today across many of our most sophisticated disciplines. This particular bag was found in Athens and has stood the test of time since May 1989

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