Marcus Wainwright (Yup, THE Marcus Wainwright) Wants to Sell You a Glow in the Dark Leica

Would You Buy an $8000 Camera That “Glows in the Dark” from the Guy on the Right?

As the renowned fashion designer explains: “For me, Leica embodies the pursuit of perfection in an object with the lifelong mission of fulfilling its function. That’s why I love Leica.”

Leica has just announced a new Monochrom, designed by a “fashion designer.”  Yup. The Leica M Monochrom special “Stealth Edition” is designed by Marcus Wainwright, founder and owner of  “rag & bone”, a hipster joint in Chicago featuring  “wildly flattering jeans, flowy [sic] dresses, cult-status booties, and general urban, monochromatic vibe” with “the simplicity of the ’90s played into some of the collection’s more delicate pieces like the slip dresses and lace separates and the Mary Jane shoes.” According the Wainwright, in addition to the Mary Jane shoes they’ve got “a lot of cool styles, from heavily quilted leather parkas to camel hair overcoats.” Apparently, the guys at Wetzlar feel this qualifies him to design a Leica that “glows in the dark:’

Marcus Wainwright’s design concept is the individual perfection of existing icons. In the case of the M Monochrom “Stealth Edition,” this means taking the discreet unobtrusiveness of the camera to the extreme. A special scratch-resistant, matte paint is used to make the surface finish as black as possible. Accompanying it in matching jet-black, the leather trim of the camera is made from an extremely smooth full-grain cowhide that also offers excellent grip.As a striking visual counterpoint, the most important engravings on the camera and lens are intentionally highlighted with a special fluorescent paint that glows in the dark. This enables faster setting of the aperture or focusing of the lens in low-light situations. The set includes a comfortable black fabric carrying strap, a metal front cap for the lens, and a certificate of authenticity. The edition is strictly limited to only 125 camera sets for the worldwide market, each of which bears a special serial number.The word “Stealth” describes the extremely discreet appearance of the camera, which is essentially characterized by its matte black paint finish, black leather trim, and the omission of color for all “unnecessary” details.

Marcus Wainwright and Leica – a perfect match.

Wainwright is also a dedicated Leica photographer who shoots with various Leica cameras, often in black and white using his M6.

Make of this what you will.

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15 thoughts on “Marcus Wainwright (Yup, THE Marcus Wainwright) Wants to Sell You a Glow in the Dark Leica

  1. StephenJ

    There used to be a columnist who worked for the Daily Telegraph in London, his pen name was “Peter Simple”.

    Anyway he used to extract the urine from various stereotypes that made him chuckle.

    There was “Dr. Spaceley Trellis” the go ahead bishop of Bevindon (a fictional municipalised dull suburb).

    There was Mrs. Dutt-Pauker the marxist “thinker” from Hampstead, and many others.

    But the one that I am reminded of here Tim with your excellent unspoken critique, is “***Harry and Janet Nodule” the traffic jam fans, who would go in search of the best traffic chaos on a given day…

    Their heads (drawn by Simple) came to a little point at the top, as they sat with big stupid smiles on their faces as they reached the next queue.

    *** I would have sworn that they were called “Janet and John” but Wiki says otherwise.

  2. StephenJ

    Excellent comment Tim, like a well brewed fart just left hanging in the air for others to stumble across.

    Looking at the picture, I am reminded of a Daily Telegraph columnist from many years back called “Peter Simple”. He created cartoonish characters (written not drawn) by way of comment on the world that he found himself living in.

    For instance, there was:

    “Mrs Dutt-Pauker — immensely rich and privileged Hampstead socialist, admirer of Stalin and rumoured lover of the East German communist leader Walter Ulbricht. She is the mother of Deirdre Dutt-Pauker, and the grandmother of the precociously bearded Maoist toddler and noted political theorist Bert Brecht Mao Rudy Che Odinga (or Mao Banana), and his sister Sus, “whose first thrilling cry as she entered the world, like Bert before her, was ‘Boycott South African oranges!’ “[1] She employs the Albanian Maoist au pair girl Gjoq. Lives at a palatial Hampstead mansion called “Marxmount”, but also owns a house called Leninmore in the west of Ireland, bought at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. Named after the communists Palme Dutt and Ana Pauker, she is based on leftist pundits such as the Toynbee family. She anticipated Margaret Hodge. The running joke of the character is that she is, in reality, a bourgeois snob, for example “many of her friends who felt deeply about the future of the world had pointed out that the white Rhodesians as a whole were not merely white and reactionary but rather common as well”.”


    “Dr Spacely-Trellis — progressive Bishop of Bevindon in the Stretchford Conurbation, where his domestic chaplain is the mischief-making Rev. Peter Nordwestdeutscher (a parody of Anglican peace activist Paul Oestreicher). He is almost always referred to as ‘the go-ahead Bishop of Bevindon’. Anticipated and strongly resembles David Jenkins, Richard Harries, Rowan Williams and many other Anglican clerics.”

    Those are from Wikipedia…

    But the characters that I am reminded of here are “Harry and Janet Nodule” the traffic jam fans, who are always looking for the worst traffic conditions, so that they will have something to talk about later…

    Their heads used to come to a point at the top, just like young Marcus.

    Thanks… best read of the week.


    For reference:

  3. Colin

    I have to admit I like it but I can’t help but hear Douglas Adams ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ in the back of my mind…”It’s the weird color scheme that gets me. When I press this black button which is labeled in black on a black background, a black light lights up black to let me know I pressed it.”

    1. Pierre

      I’ve been a big fan of Rag & Bone for years and have loved the ways that they’ve collaborated with other creative folks. E.g. Thom Yorke has composed music for their shows, and Benjamin Millepied just directed a mind-bending video for their new season. If I didn’t believe there’s going to someday be an M10-based monochrom, I would be all over this edition. The blacked out body looks so dope, IMO.

  4. David H.

    I totally get it and think a discreet, unobtrusive and stealthy glow in the dark Leica would go well with my cult status booties and camel hair shirt. What’s wrong with that?

    1. Pierre

      Nothing! I wouldn’t go as far to coordinate my camera with my outfit, but this idea, often found on Leica-centric sites, that Leicas can’t be both cameras AND fashion accessories reeks of snobbishness.

  5. Rob Campbell

    If this is for real, is not a clever wind-up, then Leica really needs a collective visit with an honest (?) shrink.

    I’d have thought it a sure way to invite both ridicule and the departure from the shop of any photographer actually interested in buying into that expensive marque with the objective of making photographs. But what do I know?

  6. Wayne

    I believe it was Camus: “absurdity does not exist in the thing/action, but in the observers head.”

    This makes me want to re-read Camus. I suppose that is one good about this announcement.

    Thank you, Leica……………….Marcus.

    1. Rob Campbell

      Maybe it might have made Camus want to revise Camus.

      For a start, for that recognition of absurdity to be triggered within the observer’s head, wouldn’t the observed thing have, of itself, to bear even the lightest stigma of absurdity?

      The wonderful thing about being dead is that nobody can challenge you and reasonably expect any answer, explanation or justification for any view you may have held or pretended to have held during you life of many musings.

      There is ever a bright side.


      1. Wayne

        I don’t know; I am pretty comfortable with the proposition. In my view, it is not so absurd that Lieca would try to make a few bucks of of those who throw money at……well…..something as absurd as “wildly flattering jeans, flowy [sic] dresses, cult-status booties, and general urban, monochromatic vibe” 🙂

        I think, if memory serves, he jumped off from the proposition, to paraphrase: Two kinds of folks in the world: those who learn how to deal with the absurdity they identify, and those who commit suicide.”

        So maybe this new offering from Leica could be viewed as another case of “what fire does not destroy, it only hardens. I mean, in truth, the camera may be a bit absurd…..but I can deal with it.

        Bring it on, Leica.

  7. danielteolijr

    Well, it is a nice camera for the collector. But I’d prefer if Leica got back to basics and made a rangefinder M43 Leica with full manual controls and manual lens. Something like the Olympus half-frame film cam in size. I love shooting the M43’s except they can’t be adjusted fast for manual controls. The little M43 Leica would make an outstanding street cam if it was redesigned.

  8. Ross

    Once the Ne Plus Ultra, Leica has now truly become the laughing stock of the photographic industrie. Barnack and co. would be rolling in their graves. Leica has gone down the same path as Rolls Royce, Bentley, etc. Once the pinnacle of the British automotive industry, these brands used to ooze class, quality and understatement. Nowadays, In the hands of their German ‘caretakers’, they offer overindulgence and vulgarity.
    So kudos to Leica for turning a stealth camera into a christmas tree.

  9. Dominique Pierre-nina

    Hi all, I think Leica is playing a dangerous game fiddling with ” fashion designers ” It shows that they are desperate to latch on to the market. Leica is unique and time-less. Stop messing with it. We all know what happens when you fly to close to the sun..


  10. Chris Minnick

    Cool, a stealth Leica that glows in the dark… No one will see you taking a picture but if they do, your wildly flattering jeans will be a distraction?

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