Icons: Bill Cunningham

“The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been. Always will be.”

– Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham street style photo

The fashion world lost one of its greatest on Saturday night—the legendary street style photographer Bill Cunningham.

Anna Wintour once said, “We all get dressed for Bill.”

The humble man, ethical journalist, and outstanding New York photographer is attributed with creating the street style genre, which for years he practiced in splendid isolation, long before the trend got wider exposure with The Sartorialist.

Cunningham captured everyday fashion statements (his favorite subjects were the eccentrics like Iris Apfel) while strolling though New York City wearing a utilitarian blue French worker’s jacket, khaki pants, black sneakers, and a 35-millimeter camera around his neck. His most frequent observation spot during the day was Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, just around the corner from the Visual Therapy office.

Lisa Marie MCcomb by Bill Cunningham

Lisa Marie MCcomb by Bill Cunningham

We love Cunningham’s take on personal style: “When I’m photographing, I look for the personal style with which something is worn—sometimes even how an umbrella is carried or how a coat is held closed. At parties, it’s important to be almost invisible, to catch people when they’re oblivious to the camera—to get the intensity of their speech, the gestures of their hands. I’m interested in capturing a moment with animation and spirit.”