"We All Get Dressed For Bill"
"OMG BILL CUNNINGHAM JUST SNAPPED ME ON 59TH ST!!!!!!!"
That was the kind of text you would send to your best friend midday on an ordinary New York work day. The recent passing of New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham was disheartening, but the 87 year old legend has left a historical legacy in the fashion industry. Traces of his work will always be found in the newspaper's archives and thankfully on the internet as well as the documentary film Bill Cunningham New York. The unique charm of a man who can just roll up to you on his bike with one hand up ready to photograph an instant memory and instantly bring joy to one's entire day. It was a big deal to get photographed by Bill. If he saw something special, out of the ordinary or classic about whatever it was you were wearing, or how your hair flipped while crossing the street, he always caught the magic through the lens. He understood trends before any fashion editor did and kept up with everything that had nothing to do with a Kardashian. Bill saw it all in the fashion industry; when Fifth Avenue was truly glamorous once upon a time, the start of 7th on Sixth; Bryant Park's glory days, watched designers graduate and become huge stars. And no one knew New York City galas and nightlife like Bill Cunningham. He devoted his life to fashion, more than anyone in the entire industry. We are blessed that there is so much proof to that. His legacy also leaves countless people whom he inspired from street-style photographers to every stylish New Yorker who hopes that for a split second, Bill is watching them. Rest in peace and thank you Bill Cunningham.
“I’m a zero. I’m a worker in the factory. I’m like you and everybody else. I’m still enjoying what I do.”
"The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been. Always will be."
- Bill Cunningham
*Header quote by Anna Wintour
*Images are by NY Times, Getty Images, Google Images