June 25th, the great photographer, Bill Cunningham passed away. Cunningham started his career as a hatmaker. As fashion trends began to shift and hats ceased to be a wardrobe staple, he began to photograph the diverse style expressions in the city he had come to call home, New York.
He spent over 40 years cycling through the Big Apple (in his trademark blue coat, simple trousers, and black trainers), documenting the sartorial sensibilities of New Yorkers of all walks of life.
While the style expressions of New Yorkers were Cunningham's focus, in the words of Quartz, he was so much more than a fashion photographer. As As Amelia Diamond of Man Repeller said, Cunningham's photography "democratized fashion". He pushed beyond perceptions of what high or low fashion, who is an insider or who is on the margins. Any stylish New Yorkers could be beautiful and interesting enough to be captured by his lens.
Cunningham shied away from public attention or renown. He was committed to his craft above all else. He was also a progressive soul, who encouraged the fashion world not to complain about the rise of so-called "fast fashion", but rather to strive better understand millenials and their new aesthetic sensibilities, " Their educating the insides of their heads, as they should do! Not the outside, with a fancy hat or a dress. Simple clothes... That's the key. I think that's what the fashion world should really think about."
Mr. Cunningham was truly one of a kind. So grateful for the ample inspiration for his amazing work ethic, the simplicity of his lifestyle, and for the sheer quality and stunning diversity of the images he shot. Thank you for sharing your beautiful eye with us.
Images c/o Google