2016 has lost so many special people both to me and the world. David Bowie and Prince amongst the most famous, the victims of mass shootings amongst the most devastating, my own grandfather, the most personal. We have also lost a very special man to the fashion industry, Bill Cunnigham. For those of you who don’t know, Bill Cunnigham was a resident of New York city and was fascinated with taking pictures of the fashion he saw on the streets. He was most regularly seen in a blue rain coat riding a bike. Eventually, Cunningham’s work became so widely recognised and appreciated that he was in attendance at nearly all of the New York fashion shows during fashion week.
He published a book with grids of his street style photography, the grids documented trends he had seen on the streets and in his images.
I’m not sure when I fist heard of Bill, probably during a late night Youtube session, I do remember coming across a video of him talking about his first ever runway show, he described each detail so passionately he even began to cry, I knew then that I wanted to become as passionate about my work as he was about his. Perhaps one of my favourite things about bill was his humble lifestyle, he didn’t really indulge in the glitz and glamour of the New York fashion scene, only in his photos. He lived in a tinny apartment, the same one for decade. It was crammed full of filing cabinets full of his prints. He always wore the same blue fleece or raincoat, even to fashion week and he was always spotted on his bike.
Bill sadly passed away on the 25th of june 2016, New York fashion week in September will truly be missing one special person on the frow. A man who truly understood fashion and what it meant to love the industry. He will continue to be an inspiration to many through fashion. I’ll leave you with the video that first made me fall in love with the renowned street style photographer, Bill Cunningham.