“A BATHING APE” and Stash have collaborated on a limited-edition camera, merging industry-leading technology with a chic, urban sensibility. The Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” consists of a black-finish compact camera sold exclusively through Leica, and a silver-finish version available exclusively through pioneering streetwear brand, A BATHING APE®︎. Both special editions feature the signature ABC CAMO look of BAPE® covering the camera body, the brand’s APE HEAD insignia, as well as the distinctive wild style tag of American graffiti artist, STASH. The result is a camera that integrates the power of street photography with icons of streetwear and street art.
The streetwear label BAPE® (A BATHING APE®︎) encapsulates the youthful spirit of an entire 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 of graffiti by moving his creations from the anonymity of subway tunnels into the public eye. Finally, we turn to Wetzlar: the German city that has become almost synonymous with the art of optical engineering and camera design. This special-edition camera combines the creative energies of Tokyo and New York. 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 recognizes many parallels between the three art forms. “They are visual, based on color, 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.”
One of the pioneers of New York’s graffiti scene, STASH 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, immortalized 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.
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 serial production model, including a Micro Four Thirds sensor, fast 24–75mm (35mm camera equivalent) zoom lens with optical image stabilization, and an aperture range of f/1.7–2.8 to deliver outstanding images, anytime, anyplace. For the effective resolution of 17 megapixels, the lens utilizes a central portion of the sensor (whose total resolution is over 21 million pixels), resulting in an even higher image quality and a sensor that delivers 4K 30fps and full-HD 60fps videos. The black-finish Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” retails for $1,895, and 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 Leica Store Los Angeles.