Bill Cunningham was an unlikely legend. If you saw him in his signature blue jacket, khaki pants, and black sneakers, front row at a fashion show, you might not have believed you were looking at a fashion photography icon. However, as his muse Anna Wintour once said, “We all get dressed for Bill.”
Famous for his New York Times photos essays which showed what New Yorkers were wearing, he was a trend spotter. His spreads of street photos are credited with the documenting the rise of neon biker shorts and fanny packs, phat pants and airline bags, seersucker suits, and Birkin bags. Cunningham’s two New York Times columns, Evening Hours, and On the Street were called the city’s unofficial yearbook by The New Yorker magazine in 2009.
Bill Cunningham died in New York on Saturday at the age of 87. He worked for the New York times for nearly 40 years, and before that he created a name for himself creating avant garde ladies hats from scraps of material he would collect from the local dime store.
On his photography Mr. Cunningham once said, “ When I’m photographing, I look for the personal style with which something is worn — sometimes even how an umbrella is carried or how a coat is held closed. At parties, it’s important to be almost invisible, to catch people when they’re oblivious to the camera — to get the intensity of their speech, the gestures of their hands. I’m interested in capturing a moment with animation and spirit.”
We will miss your pictures.