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. Now, Leica has brought these three creative branches together in a strictly limited, special edition compact camera: the Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” consists of a black-finish variant retailed by Leica, and a silver version which is available exclusively via A BATHING APE®︎. The special edition features the signature ABC 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® (A BATHING APE®︎) 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 (aka 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. This is where the creative energies of Tokyo and New York have converged to produce a unique limited edition compact camera. Photography has always been used to document both street art and street fashion – now the Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” is a tangible manifestation of this connective link.
“When I started doing graffiti in the early 1980s, the term ‘street art’ didn’t exist. 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,” STASH recalls, who recognises many parallels between the three art forms. “They are visual, based on colour, form and expressive freedom. I think they are strongly youth-driven, and there is so much creativity between them that one feeds into the other to help complete the story.” 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 the large Micro Four Thirds sensor, and the fast zoom lens with optical image stabilisation, which covers focal lengths from 24–75mm (35mm camera equivalent), with an aperture range of f/1.7–2.8. For the effective resolution of 17 megapixels, the lens utilises a central portion of the sensor (whose total resolution is over 21 million pixels), resulting in even higher image quality. In addition to high-resolution photographs, the sensor also delivers 4K 30fps and full-HD 60fps videos. The black-finish Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” retails at €1,990 incl. VAT. It comes with an additional carrying strap, a specially designed camera pouch, and an auto lens cap that opens and closes as the lens retracts and extends.
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.
A BATHING APE®︎
Situated in the heart of Tokyo, one of the leading fashion hubs of the world, Nowhere Co., Ltd. strives to introduce Japanese fashion culture to the world. Since the brand's establishment in 1993, it has remained as a symbol of street fashion for more than 28 years. Thus far, it has produced iconic design items, original patterns and characters such as “APE HEAD”, “BAPE® CAMO”, “BAPE STA™”, “SHARK HOODIE” and “BABY MILO®” etc. It has now expanded into Mens', Ladies and Kids line and is carried throughout stores in Japan and also sold in US, UK, France, China and various Asian countries. It has also created successful collaborations with established international brands and reputable artists. These collaborations are recognised as being genre-less and flexible, not limited to fashion and apparel categories only.
One of the pioneers of New York’s graffiti scene, STASH (Josh Franklin) is firmly established as an innovator and influencer in the world of urban design. His vision of integrating graphic graffiti elements and fonts into commercial product designs captured the attention of a broad audience and helped graffiti culture rise from the shadows of subway tunnels into the light of public acceptance. His hidden (‘stashed away’) messages and iconic signature have become a brand in their own right, immortalised in high-profile collaborations with major brands in the streetwear cosmos. In his search for new forms of expression, the photography enthusiast has found a perfect match in Leica: the collaboration is another milestone for the street artist to manifest his concept of capturing the fleeting moment.
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Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography
Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.