HULA HAPPENINGS: Jay Ahr’s Vintage Louis Vuitton Collection

by HULA , May 17, 2019

Artist and designer Jonathan Riss of Jay Ahr specialises in creating wearable pieces of art by reworking vintage pieces of Louis Vuitton Keepall bags and hand-embellishing them using intricate embroidery techniques. Each piece is one of a kind and inspired by local artists and cultural traditions from around the world.


The Keepall bag was created by Louis Vuitton in 1930 as light and supple luggage which symbolised a new way of travel with the classic Louis Vuitton monogram logo. Acclaimed designer Jonathan Riss’ lifelong love for exploration led him to collect and build one of the largest vintage collections of this iconic piece, The Louis Vuitton Keepall Bag.

Combined with his creative talent which led to the cult brand Jay Ahr, Riss applied his artistic inspiration and embroidery techniques developed over two decades to create iconic themes for the world’s largest collection of unique embroidered vintage Keepalls. Riss diligently sourced well-travelled bags from across the globe that have been transformed by time and osmosis of the local culture in the country they were found. Ensuring the provenance of the bag is relative to the subject matter of the collection and the cultural zeitgeist of its time. Pairing this travel icon with iconic moments in history he has woven their story together resulting in striking graphic designs, pushing the boundaries of hand embroidery with experimental techniques developed over two decades.

The inspiration behind the artworks came from local artists and cultural traditions from around the world, including Persian rugs from Iran, Hokusai, Shunga (Japanese erotic art), African and pre-Columbian Art, Calligraphy, Iconic symbols, Weapons in America, interpretations of Flags from each country and album covers from the ‘80s to name but a few. Riss took these broader themes as his inspiration and created individual modern interpretations for each well-travelled bag.


Join us for our second HULA Happenings event to see this spectacular collection and an exclusive interview with the artist.


Thursday 30 May

5-9pm (7pm Interview)


HULA, 5A Evergreen Industrial Mansion

12 Yip Fat St, Wong Chuk Hang

+852 2544 1511

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