NEW YORK (APP) – Legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died on Saturday, according to the paper where he worked for nearly 40 years. He was 87.
Cunningham, whose watchful eye brought images of New Yorkers – from the well-heeled to unsuspecting trendsetters – to the public, had been hospitalised recently after a stroke, the Times reported.
Credited with creating the genre of street fashion photography, Cunningham held a passion for capturing a subject or trend’s look, whatever it may be.
He was, as the Times called him, an “unlikely cultural anthropologist.”
Cunningham, who plied New York on his bicycle in his trademark blue workman’s jacket with a camera slung around his neck, had an uncanny talent in unearthing major, even avant-garde trends on the street, on the catwalk or at glittering parties.
In a 2010 documentary about Cunningham, Anna Wintour – the powerful editor of American Vogue and one of the photographer´s muses – marveled at his ability to “see something, on the street or on the runway, that completely missed all of us. And in six months´ time, that will be a trend!”
Frank Rich, a former New York Times columnist and executive producer of the HBO series “Veep,” tweeted: “Bill Cunningham was as delightful and fascinating a person and colleague as he was an artist. An independent mind, big heart, no airs.”
A 2008 recipient of France´s Legion of Honor, Cunningham was also named a living landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy in 2009.
“Today we lost a Living Landmark, not that he ever stood still. Let’s all be more fabulous in Bill’s memory,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio´s office wrote on Twitter.
De Blasio added: “We will remember Bill´s blue jacket and bicycle. But most of all we will remember the vivid, vivacious New York he captured in his photos.”