Bill Cunningham, the street style photographer, has passed away at the age of 87. He suffered a stroke and was hospitalized shortly before his death.
Mr. Cunningham had been documenting fashion for The New York Times for the past 40 years, long before the internet’s recognition of what we know as street style today. His video series “On the Street” portrayed his eye-catching photos and wealth of knowledge around trends, accompanied by his charismatic voice. The 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham: New York showcased a snippet of his daily life as he rode his bike all across town, attending up to 20 gala events in a week. Covering everything from high-profile events to people heading to work, Mr. Cunningham would often be spotted front row during fashion shows. However, he was most known for dedicating his life to his craft — opting for a small studio and sleeping on a single-size cot, making room for rows of cabinets filled with negatives. He wore the same utilitarian uniform consisting of khakis and a blue worker’s jacket and didn’t bother to take even a glass of water from any of the events he attended as he aimed to merely be an observant wherever he was. Guided by this principle, he tore up checks he received from magazines stating, “Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive.” He was named a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy in 2009 and bestowed the Legion d’Honneur in France in 2008.
- The New York Times
- Witold Riedel
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