For several decades, the people of New York kept an eye open for a friendly, bicycle-riding man who scoured the city to take pictures of those who dressed to impress. Day in and day out, the artist woke up in the morning, donned his iconic blue jacket, and observed and identified all of the latest trends.
The man, Bill Cunningham, is considered the world’s most prominent fashion photographer. Cunningham died at the age of 78 in Manhattan, New York. His death was confirmed by The Times on Saturday.
The industry’s top insiders and influencers turned to social media to express their grief. The photographer’s impact on the fashion industry was always evident, as Vogue’s Anna Wintour once said that those who fully understand fashion, truly dress for Cunningham.
His life-long career was dedicated to the art of street style. Cunningham started working for The Times almost 40 years ago. His weekly contributions have monitored each decade’s top trends and societal changes in the streets of New York. The photographer’s work was divided between showcasing exclusive galas and genuine street style. Cunningham was able to document all of the fashion industry’s evolution throughout decades.
According to the artist himself, he was never interested in celebrities or individuals. His work was a portal between runway fashion and the street’s interpretation of what fashion should be. He often compared between what the designers put on stage and how common people adapted to the trends in their daily lives.
The photographer was honoured multiple times during his lifetime. However, he had always insisted that he was not a photographer, but rather a man who appreciated clothes. In 2010, Richard Press created a documentary about the photographer’s life entitled ‘Bill Cunningham New York’. It debuted at the Museum of Modern Art.