Jean Pigozzi and Leica Collaborate on the Ultimate Party Camera

The art collector and photographer tells us about how he invented the selfie and his design for the new Leica Sofort instant camera.

Jean Pigozzi—the acclaimed art collector, tech investor, and fashion icon—also knows a thing or two about taking a picture.

“I invented the selfie,” he says. He even gives a year, 1974, long before the word “selfie” had entered the popular lexicon. While Faye Dunaway was paying a visit to his alma mater Harvard, a 22-year Pigozzi used his Leica M4 to snap a photo of the both of them, and his extensive and star-studded collection of celebrity self portraits—featuring everyone from Iman to Arnold Schwarzenegger—was born.

Leica has long been Pigozzi’s camera of choice, his first M4 given to him as a gift from his father at 10 years old. Decades later, he and Leica Camera AG have collaborated on new special edition, instant-picture version of the Sofort: The “LimoLand by Jean Pigozzi.”

On a mission to design the the ultimate party camera, the always colorfully dressed Pigozzi decided, “Let’s make it like something that I would wear.” As a result, both the front and back of the camera feature Mr. Limo, the logo of Pigozzi’s LimoLand fashion label by the late Kenyan artist George Lilanga. The new Sofort also has a leather-trimmed red nylon strap, and a small mirror above the lens to facilitate with taking a selfie—which to Pigozzi, is a party essential.

“The idea was that if you get an autograph, it’s not really sure that you met Mick Jagger or Dolly Parton,” he explains. “A selfie, meanwhile, you cannot fake.”

Learn more about the Leica Sofort here.

This video was conceived, produced, and edited by Surface Studios, the creative agency of Surface Media.

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