Leica already has a store in Bruton Street in Mayfair, and in early November 2013, they opened a new, creative pop up store for Christmas, which will stay until January 2014. Then, the pop up will morph straight into a new store in the Burlington Arcade, also in the heart of London. The store is meant to showcase the creative spirit of Leica cameras and their users.
Leica cameras take creative photos like this one — Photo courtesy of Mattia Marziali
Leica was originally a German optics company, and the first prototype cameras were built in 1913, a hundred years ago as of 2013. The camera was intended for people who loved taking landscape photography whilst walking or hiking in the mountains.
Over the course of the twentieth century, this camera has become linked to street photography, with even famous photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson using a Leica. The beautiful photos that Leica lenses take are famed the world over. Leica cameras even change hands for very high prices on the Internet, especially second-hand ones with coveted serial numbers or military markings.
On their Facebook page, the Leica store describes itself as being "designed with a passion for perfection." The store itself acknowledges that their cameras have attracted fans from all over the world, some who like the effects of different shutter speeds, and others who are optic lens enthusiasts. Anyone that loves their technology and demands high quality, precision and reliability will love the Leica.
There's even a professional studio facility in the store, and lots of exhibitions and "Masters" series so you can go, be inspired and perhaps learn how to take different types of photos.
The new pop up store was designed by Cottam + Cottam, who say they are on "a mission to make things better" with their design ideas. Or, as they like to say, "We think about stuff, we do stuff." That might sound suitably vague, but founded in 2011, they are part of the great creative spirit infusing London at the moment. The business is a strategic marketing agency, and they specialize in pop ups and guerrilla marketing.
Cottam + Cottam has worked with lots of big names, from BBC Children in Need to Kate Spade from Barclaycard to Land Rover and from Paul & Joe to Luella Bartley. Essentially, these guys don't just design a space or a pop up, but they manage the event and make sure that the product is reaching the right kind of customer.
Since Leica cameras are so bound up with street photography, London offers the perfect background for this new niche shop.