The Leica camera may hold the distinction of having been responsible for more famous images than any other tool of creation: think of "V. J. Day at Times Square" by Alfred Eisenstaedt, the iconic portrait of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda, and any number of definitive photographs by Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand and a myriad of other photojournalists and artists. And so it comes as no surprise that Jony and Marc would include a Leica in this auction, which is devoted in equal measure to icons and to innovation. But in this case, the pair did far more than select and customise an existing object: they partnered with the legendary manufacturer to design a singular new example, based on the Leica M, from the ground up.
Jony and Marc observe that Leica products are built entirely around function and so the designers' first task was to immerse themselves in the astonishingly complex mechanics behind Leica's cameras. Then the task was to make it all look as simple as possible, with the caveat that achieving "simplicity" is often one of the most complex tasks for a designer. "Simplicity," they say, is not about the absense of clutter, but comes from a deep understanding of every element's purpose: as a result, a simple design will reveal the true personality of an object, with all its quirkiness.
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