Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with a local fashion icon, Laurie Davis, the owner of LuLu's Vintage. As we chatted about New York Fashion Week, she brought up another fashion icon, Bill Cunningham.
Bill Cunningham is a renowned fashion photographer for The New York Times and has become a fashion great in his own right. You can always find him riding around the streets of New York City on his bike wearing his signature blue jacket. What's even more remarkable is that he is 84 years old.
Image via The Sartorialist
Bill is unlike any other street style photographer in that he doesn't look for subjects of a particular age, gender or body type. All he cares about is clothes and how regular people on the street wear them to express their unique personal style.
Laurie suggested I watch the 2010 documentary on Bill called "Bill Cunningham New York." One thing that struck me is how dedicated Bill is to his craft. So dedicated in fact that his one room apartment in the Carnegie Hall Building has no private kitchen, bathroom, closet or even furniture. Bill sleeps amongst metal filing cabinets filled with every photograph he's ever taken.
It's ironic how this man who lives in a single room is the only person Anna Wintour will stop to be photographed by. If that doesn't give him enough credibility, he's also won prestigious awards for his work. In 2008 he received the Order of Letters and Arts, an Order of France that recognizes people who've made a significant contributions to the arts.
Bill's work can be found in The New York Times' Fashion & Style section as well as the The Times' fashion app called The Collection. The Collection is quickly becoming my favorite fashion app because of it's visually appealing and easy to navigate layout. The app is updated with photos and videos from runway shows, street style looks and backstage beauty reports.
In one video summarizing New York Fashion Week, Bill talked about the biggest street style trends this season. I was expecting him to name a certain color or shoe, but instead he said cameras. Everyone outside the shows is taking photos with either a camera or their phones.
PR pros are notorious for being glued to their phones. Just ask our social media director Emily. Now we can use the excuse that it's the hottest accessory at fashion week! Thanks Bill.