Leica's latest collaboration is a funky new camouflage Leica D-Lux 7 in conjunction with streetwear specialist A Bathing Ape and graffiti artist Stash.
Street photography is the art of capturing moments of people’s lives as naturally and, at the same time, profoundly as possible. It is a very immediate type of reportage photography that has always been closely connected with the Leica brand. In many ways, street photography holds up a mirror to society – be it from a humorous, insightful or critical perspective. The genre shares this trait with two other art forms that capture the urban zeitgeist: streetwear and street art.
So Leica has brought these three creative branches together in a special edition of one of the best compact cameras: the Leica D Lux 7 A Bathing Ape x Stash. This offers a black finish variant retailed by Leica, and a silver version that is available exclusively via A Bathing Ape. The special edition features the signature camo look of the streetwear label BAPE, and the brand’s Ape head insignia; it is also marked with the distinctive wildstyle tag of American graffiti artist Stash.
The streetwear label BAPE encapsulates the youthful spirit of a generation, bringing Tokyo’s urban street style to the world with its contemporary designs. From the Asian metropolis, we turn our attention to New York, where pioneering street art legend Stash (Josh Franklin) paved the way for a new genre by moving his creations from the anonymity of subway tunnels into the public eye. And finally we turn to Wetzlar, the German city that has become almost synonymous with the art of optical engineering and camera design.
"When I started doing graffiti in the early 1980s, the term 'street art' didn't exist," recalls Stash. "It was only later, when we emerged from the tunnels and train stations, that we became much more visible. Documenting my art through photography has always been part of my creativity. With the advent of digital cameras, I got my first Leica."
When designing the limited special edition of the Leica D-Lux 7, the Brooklyn-based artist incorporated both the famously graphic-heavy style of the BAPE label, and his own distinctive visual approach.
The Leica D-Lux 7 A Bathing Ape x Stash offers the same technical specifications as the serially produced model. This includes a 17MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and the fast 24-75mm zoom lens with optical image stabilization, with an aperture range of f/1.7–2.8.
In addition to high-resolution photographs, the sensor also delivers 4K at 30fps and FullHD at 60fps. It comes with an additional carrying strap, a specially designed camera pouch, and a special BAPE-emblazoned auto lens cap that opens and closes as the lens retracts and extends.
This special, limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7 will retail for $1,750 (approximately £1,445 / AU$2510). To mark the launch of the limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7, a selection of photographs by Stash will be presented in a special exhibition at the Leica Store Los Angeles.