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Legendary Street Fashion Photographer, Bill Cunningham Dies at 87

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Photographer Bill Cunningham attends Rodarte Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week at Center 548 on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 15: Photographer Bill Cunningham attends Rodarte Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week at Center 548 on September 15, 2015 in New York City.

Bill Cunningham, the street-style photographer whose photo essays for The New York Times memorialized trends ranging from fanny packs to Birkin bags, gingham shirts and fluorescent biker shorts, died in New York on Saturday (26th June 2016). He was 87.

He had been hospitalized recently after having a stroke. His death was confirmed by The New York Times.

One of the pioneers of street style photos, known for his blue jacket, capturing well-heeled philanthropists at play and ardent fashionistas dressed for work or shopping. “We all dress for Bill,” Vogue’s Anna Wintour once said in a documentary film made about the iconic street style photographer titled ‘Bill Cunningham New York‘.

Watch the Trailer

According to The New York Times, where he worked for nearly 40 years,

“He didn’t go to the movies. He didn’t own a television. He ate breakfast nearly every day at the Stage Star Deli on West 55th Street, where a cup of coffee and a sausage, egg and cheese could be had until very recently for under $3. He lived until 2010 in a studio above Carnegie Hall amid rows and rows of file cabinets, where he kept all of his negatives. He slept on a single-size cot, showered in a shared bathroom and, when he was asked why he spent years ripping up checks from magazines, he said: “Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”

Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images
Sources: The New York TimesVogue

Eki is the Editor for BellaNaija Style and Lifestyle Editor for BellaNaija.com She has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before finding love at BellaNaija Style. Eki loves all things creative. Follow her on Instagram @ekiogunbor BellaNaija Style: [email protected] | @bellanaijastyle BellaNaija Beauty: @bellanaijabeauty BellaNaija Living: [email protected] | @bellanaijaliving

4 Comments

  1. Tosin

    June 26, 2016 at 4:55 am

    lol
    “I’m not interested in celebrities, with their free dresses, I’m interested in clothes.”
    “If we all went out looking like a slob like me, it’d be a pretty dreary world”
    funny 2 mins. crae dude.

  2. MurderSheWrote

    June 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Wow he still attended the fall 2016/17 shows. The fashion world will really mourn him. What an innovator. Sleep on Bill.

  3. Lagos Street Style

    June 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Sweet Bill. Sweet sweet Bill. Inspiration to many and a true Legend!

    “We all dress for Bill” – Anna Wintour

    Rest in peace the original street style photographer.

  4. Reina de las fabricas

    June 27, 2016 at 9:37 am

    “Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”..beautiful quotation..Rest in peace

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