Home Accessories Take off for the summer in Leica’s wicker basket

Take off for the summer in Leica’s wicker basket

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OK, we all know Leica has gone all boutiquey and uber trendy. But when I read about the new Leica wicker basket I needed a second take. First I checked that the date isn’t April 1, then I read the glowing testimonial on the Leica web site. However, from the reference to summer, I can only imagine this is intended for the Australian market. John Shingleton might want one for Christmas.

Ladies and gentlemen, I guarantee I have not made this up. It’s there in black and white on the Leica website. Heaven knows, I’m a stylish gentleman of eclectic tastes, but is this designed for me?

“This summer classic is designed with a camera pocket for the style-conscious photographer when on the move. The body of this basket is hand-crafted from woven osier wicker. The top handle and edging are made from the finest Spanish cowhide leather in a pale lilac shade with a Leica logo embossed on the front. A further touch of style is added with the ‘I love Leica’ charm that is attached with a leather strap to the top handle.

“Inside the basket you can find a main compartment with enough space to store your belongings as well as the camera pocket to store your favourite Leica compact camera.

“Whether it’s a day on the beach, or Summer in the city, the Leica wicker basket is your ideal companion when exploring your next photographic subject.

“Limited to 150 pieces worldwide.”

So it’s real. Your comments would be appreciated? Are you planning to buy one? It cost only £160, but it’s a pity that Leilac isn’t my colour. The words Oskar, grave and turn spring to mind.

UPDATE: An anonymous source has just told us that this basket might not appear after all, although it is still featured on the Leica UK store website.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Well, you can’t blame Leica for marketing to women. Why not?
    Leilac ( very clever Mike! ) isn’t my color either, but I could see it going with women’s wear and a silver TL2. In Japan they design and market specific cameras and colors for women all the time.You only have to look at their brochures in the Tokyo camera stores.
    The Men’s version might be a fishing basket. Could be useful for us outdoor types. A Safari M would be perfect with that! You know you want one.

  2. Well done Michael, leilac induces a sad smile amongst the tears.
    Leica is trying to transform into a Luxury Brand. What consultant is advising them to try to break into the realm of the World’s Top Ten Luxury Brands? Best of luck with that one.
    Fuji must be smiling.

    • Yes, Wayne. As Steven says, you can’t blame them for marketing to women specifically. After all, most of the Leica buffs I meet tend to be CISMale (in newspeak, “male assigned, male at birth”).

      But I do like those Leilac accoutrements so I’m beginning to examine my credentials to see if they are still there. Seriously, though, all this emphasis on fashion as opposed to hard-tack photography could well alienate some long-standing Leica fans. As you say, Fuji must be smiling.

    • “2010: Leica becomes member of Meisterkreis, a European organisation of luxury goods manufacturers” ..extract from Erwin Puts’ ‘Leica Chronicle’. That was nine years ago, Wayne!

      Leica/Leitz has offered ‘luxury’ versions (ostrich skin, lizard skin, gold plated versions, etc.) since the nineteen thirties. Nothing new there.

      And the teeny original Olympus ‘PEN’ (half-frame) cameras were created from 1959 onwards especially to woo women: only half the population (men) was buying cameras ..which left the other 50% unexploited ..so those little stuff-it-in-your-handbag cameras – half the size of normal cameras, taking twice as many photos on a single film (72 instead of 36) were created to appeal to that 50% of potential customers who weren’t buying cameras. And the “ubiquitous-as-a-pen” tiny point-&-shoots were a huge success!

      In Mr Maitani’s (the designer of the PEN’s) own words: “In those days, almost all camera buyers were men: men accounted for about 98% of the market, and women around 2%. Men like machines. They dream of Harley-Davidsons. That’s why we made cameras with so many controls. The accepted wisdom was that real cameras had to have lots of controls.

      However, a month after Olympus launched the Pen, I happened to see a mother photographing her little boy while I was on my way to work. She was using a Pen. I was so excited to see someone using the camera that I’d designed. But after I watched her for a few seconds I started to worry. I wanted to warn her that the picture would be out of focus with those settings.

      It was then that I decided to design a camera that a woman like that would use. There would be no difficult controls. It would be so simple that the user would just have to push a single button. Yet this concept was the exact opposite of the cameras that were selling well on the market. The sales staff told me that it wouldn’t be a proper camera, and I later heard that a conference of branch managers had also concluded that my design would not be a real camera.”

      He concludes.. “Once we had broken through the barrier of accepted wisdom and created the product, it immediately became a best-seller. Half the people in the world are women, and I’m sure that even some of the younger people here have seen Pen cameras in their homes. According to the data, the percentage of female buyers jumped from 2 percent to 33 percent after the launch of the Pen EE.”

      [..from Mr Maitani’s Olympus memoirs here: https://tinyurl.com/y63lyrrx ]

      Where Olympus leads, Leica follows.

      • My my, David. Difficult territory here in 2030 (almost):

        “It was then that I decided to design a camera that a woman like that would use. There would be no difficult controls. It would be so simple that the user would just have to push a single button.”

        Stand by for blasting from women like that……

        • But it’s all about usage and familiarity, Mike, not whether you’re female or male. Give the average man of 25 one of those cars (up above) and he probably wouldn’t know what the choke was for, or the advance/retard on the ignition knob ..whereas those who regularly used them knew HOW to use them.

          My Auntie Ethel was nimble-fingered with her electric Hoover laundry wringer, but I’d get my fingers/tie/watch caught and mangled in the rollers, as I wasn’t used to the speed of such a rapid wringer.

          It’s all about what you’re familiar with, rather than what sex or gender you are..

  3. I’ll take two. One for the missus and one for the socks for seniors which keep popping up here in ads. The latest pop up ad one is for slip on loafers, which could, perhaps, be made available in suitable shades and styles to match the basket. As my dear late mother used to say ‘ a fool and his money etc’.

    William

  4. What a pity. I would have held off buying my Thorsten von Overgaard elephant hide camera bag if I had known this genuine Leica artisan basket was coming. And from what I hear the Chinese are wonderful basket weavers. So many wonderful products and so little time.

  5. For a moment I thought Leica had released a new Kensington hamper. Clearly designed for the Harrods outlet, and those who buy in to crap designer wear.

    I agree Mike I could see John S at his Xmas barbee surrounded by Porsches and a couple of these posing discreetly on the back street for passing photographers to capture.

    • Dave, no need to be envious. As Wayne Gerlach will testify I am sure it’s a very tough gig down here. There’s the burning sun, the bushfires, the venomous wildlife not to mention the scantly clad instagram influencers who hang around us whilst we meet for coffee at the surf club. And then those never ending invitations from Porsche Australia to test drive the 2020 911 as well as all the gear Leica Australia beg me to test……….

      • I have to say I do occasionally suffer from Porsche envy (I have nowhere to store one, but would if I could own one), and accept that I would struggle to resist wanting to photograph the scantily clad instagram influencers. Whats the point of owning a camera without trying to photograph life’s delights. Heck whats the point of being alive without trying.

        You can keep the bushfires and wildlife exactly where it is though. I routinely drop in to Chandlers Wildlife on youtube, and some of his youtube affiliates in my spare time, and trust me some of his mate have partially missing limbs owing to venomous wildlife.

  6. I’m getting one. It’ll pair beautifully with the sure-to-be-coming Red Riding Hood M10-D Limited Edition with artisan Wicker cladding

  7. I’ll order one now. With the reported age and gender profile of the Macfilos contributors it will be good for all of us to get in touch with our younger, feminine sides. Do you think I can get the trousers in a 46 inch waist, XL leg? With pockets for spanners?

    • Kevin I insist you buy a pair with a 46 inch waist and spanner pockets – but show us the results via the powers of your Leica X Vario. I will look forward to your article on the subject.

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