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German Luxury Brands Flirt with Japan

It should come as no surprise to La Vida Leica regulars that Leica Camera AG has a growing (if not popular) presence in Japan. In fact, the most recent and ambitious (if not coolest) Leica Store resides in Kyoto. An article over on Wirtschafts Woche ("Business Weekly") examines the growing trend across multiple German luxury brands to establish a foothold there. Due, in part, to the falling demand in China (not because of the products, but rather the environment there). Check out the article, "German luxury manufacturers flirt with Japan" (in German). Read more below for translated excerpt!

Esquire on the Cult of Leica Camera

Over on Esquire in the U.K. is a piece called, "The Cult Of The Leica Camera" that considers Leica's success to perhaps be attributable to something we all know and love... That red dot. The author, Simon Garfield - covers some history, his new Leica T (Type 701) and his visit to Wetzlar for the centennial celebrations - but generally muses about the cult that is Leica. Check it out!

It’s only a trick of the light, but you may also feel it’s a trick of the soul. And beyond that lies sheer joy, the feeling of holding something you know will enhance a life. When I first extracted my Leica T from its puzzle of boxes, and before pressing the shutter, I did one thing that I couldn’t control. I looked at it with awe, considered its elegance in my hands, and just laughed with pleasure.

NBC - Leica as Inspiration in Retro Push

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've surely noticed that "retro is in" when it comes to the latest hot cameras. Case in point, the Fujifilm X series of cameras. NBC News suggests, perhaps rightly so - that Leica is largely behind that trend. Of course, they also point out that "Leica cameras, [are seemingly] relegated to use only by the wealthy or dedicated camera aficionados." Still, it's an interesting look at this new trend. Read more in the NBC News article, "Dialing it Back: Camera Makers Prize Retro 35mm Look."

Rarely, that is, except in Leicas, which have been using this general look and feel for decades. Its rangefinders are iconic, having been used by some of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.

Richie Notar Wants a Leica M9

When The Fashion Spot asked the (somewhat infamous) Queens-born restaurateur Richie Notar 21 questions, among them was "I’m dying to splurge on…" he responded, "a Leica M9 digital camera." Good to see Mr. Notar has such refined taste! If you're not familiar, he got his start at Studio 54 (as a 16 year old busboy) and was a managing partner at Nobu - and is also the force behind Harlow, which just opened its first offshoot in Sag Harbor over the summer. He's also currently working on opening a jazz lounge and bakery in Harlem. If you're curious, check out the rest of the answers in "21 Questions with… Restaurateur Richie Notar."

I’m dying to splurge on… a Leica M9 digital camera.

Leica Store Kyoto - A Report

Our Twitter friend Jeremiah Rogers was traveling to Kyoto, Japan - so of course we suggested that he check out Leica Store Kyoto. Turns out it was a great experience and one he truly enjoyed. Check out some more info on those olive limited edition MP and X2 cameras.
Other than the insanely expensive cameras the internal architecture of the Kyoto Leica store is fascinating. Just you might imagine an Apple store could be if it had lower volume. The upstairs is literally a gallery showing photography made with Leica cameras.

A German Rebel in South Africa

The New York Times Lens Blog has a story about Jürgen Schadeberg (a Leica shooter) and some of his documentary work in South Africa in a piece called "A German Rebel in South Africa." Starting with coverage of the anti-apartheid movement in the 1950s, to returning in 1985 to live with his wife, Claudia, and began making documentary films about apartheid, Drum, South African jazz and the history of Robben Island. After Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990, he and his wife were invited to his house for a New Year’s Eve party. Mr. Schadeberg continued to publish photography books on social justice, and he filmed the first free elections in 1994 for a documentary he and his wife made.