On Saturday the fashion world lost one of its most loved and respected photographers, Bill Cunningham, at the grand old age of 87. A dedicated chronicler of street fashion, Cunningham described his New Yorker columns as the city’s unofficial yearbook, including photographs of people from Anna Wintour to David Bowie. Here we celebrate the life and legacy of Bill Cunningham, the first pioneer of street style photography, by sharing his best quotes.
3. “The problem is I’m not a good photographer. To be perfectly honest, I’m too shy. Not aggressive enough. Well, I’m not aggressive at all. I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it.”
4. “I go out every day. When I get depressed at the office, I go out, and as soon as I’m on the street and see people, I feel better. But I never go out with a preconceived idea. I let the street speak to me.”
6. “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.”
8. “Fashion is as vital and as interesting today as ever. I know what people with a more formal attitude mean when they say they’re horrified by what they see on the street. But fashion is doing its job. It’s mirroring exactly our times.”
What are your best memories of Bill Cunningham? Share yours in the comments below.