Beloved NY Times Photographer Knew Fashion Was in the Street, Not the...

Beloved NY Times Photographer Knew Fashion Was in the Street, Not the Magazines (1929–2016)

Bill cunningham new york-youtube-photographer-documentary

The legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died on Saturday, but he leaves a legacy of observations that changed the way many people think about clothes and created an historical record spanning decades.

For his weekend photo spread in the paper, and corresponding video series, the 87-year-old, who tooled around Manhattan on his bicycle, could be counted on to spot the latest trends by looking at the creative ways New Yorkers used fabric, accessories and clothing to create their own fashion statements.

For Cunningham, the Paris runways were certainly interesting, but “it was what happened to the clothes afterward — how they were used, or not used — that really mattered,” according to one cohort at the Times.

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“He was among the first to recognize the value of observing what people wore in their everyday life, and to understand that it was a reflection of identity and culture, a means of communication used by all, and thus a crucial historical record,” wrote Vanessa Friedman, in a final tribute.

Here is one of his videos from spring 2016, which exemplified his story-telling style and his use of untouched photos depicting fashionistas on the streets of New York.

An award winning documentary, “Bill Cunningham New York,” seen on YouTube now, tells the story of the “first and best” street photographer.

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