A true New Yorker has passed away this weekend at the age of 87. He would most definitely have been annoyed at all the fuss, but it is only right to say goodbye to one of New York’s greatest treasure and legend, Bill Cunningham.
During the 40 years he worked for The Times, Bill Cunningham has remained consistent, always bicycling to and fro in his blue worker’s jacket, khaki pants, and his 35 millimeter camera. Behind the lens, he chronicled the revolving fashion of New York’s most eccentric and fashionable. Yet, he abided by his own rules, never one to be bought by the fame and prestige he received. And always the stubborn and dedicated man, true to his art, Cunningham once said, “Once people own you, they can tell you what to do. So don’t let ‘em.”
Despite New York Landmarks Conservancy making him an actual living landmark and having a documentary released solely on him, Cunningham continued to stand on the outskirts, watching in. As Dean Baquet, The Times’ executive editor, comments, “…To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York. Young people. Brown people. People who spent fortunes on fashion and people who just had a strut and knew how to put an outfit together out what they had and what they found.”
Bill Cunningham never stopped noticing us all. We will greatly miss his pure gaze.