Legendary Fashion Photographer Bill Cunningham Dies at 87


Bill Cunningham, the legendary fashion photographer who shot street-style portraits for the New York Times for nearly 4 decades, died in New York on Saturday, just days after suffering a stroke. He was 87.

Cunningham, whose life and work were featured in the 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham New York, documented fashion on the streets of New York City with his camera, blue jacket, and bicycle.

His photos became a staple of the Times’ Sunday Styles section and made Cunningham incredibly influential in the world of fashion. He regularly rubbed shoulders with industry giants while remaining modest in his own personal life.


“His company was sought after by the fashion world’s rich and powerful, yet he remained one of the kindest, most gentle and humble people I have ever met,” says Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. “We have lost a legend, and I am personally heartbroken to have lost a friend.”

“Mr. Cunningham operated both as a dedicated chronicler of fashion and as an unlikely cultural anthropologist,” writes the Times in its lengthy obituary published Saturday, “one who used the changing dress habits of the people he photographed to chart the broader shift away from formality and toward something more diffuse and individualistic.”

Tributes to Cunningham by some of the biggest names in photography and fashion are now flooding social media channels:

To see some of Bill’s work, check out On the Street, Bill Cunningham’s video channel over at the New York Times.

Image credits: Header illustration based on by photo Paul Stein. Photos of Bill by Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue and georgpetschnigg