On Saturday morning, the world lost a true fashion visionary in New York Times fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham. In his 40-year-long career, Bill become a force to be reckoned with in the style industry, with his works wielding a major influence on what we wear and why we wear it. He knew that true style comes from within, and that the best accessory you can rock is confidence. His work was all about championing the person behind their personal style, and for that, he will most definitely be missed.
While his playful approach to fashion photography gave us countless sartorial standards, here are four that stand out to us above all.
4 Ways Bill Cunningham Influenced Us
1. He invented street-style photography. Bill Cunningham always knew that street style was the style that mattered most. “The best fashion show is definitely on the street… always has been and it always will be,” he said in his must-watch documentary, Bill Cunningham New York. Can you imagine how boring our Insta feeds would be today without him? *shudder*
2. He celebrated eccentricity. As the OG of street style, Bill was known for his democratic approach to fashion journalism. He took a special interest in subjects who weren’t afraid to let their freak flag fly, famous or otherwise. His photos proved to the industry — and all of us — that you don’t have to be a slave to trends to have some seriously buzz-worthy style.
3. He showed us how to rock a signature style. There is a difference between getting stuck in a fashion rut and having a signature style, and Bill rocked his signature style like none other. He kept it simple, classic and functional with his iconic cobalt blue parka and khaki pants, making him easily distinguishable in a sea of photogs. He inspired us all to find our own style groove, as well: Maybe you are all about a summertime romper and cross-body combo, or perhaps a warm weather shift and studs are your jam? Either way, go for it. “Fashion is the armor of everyday life,” according to Bill, so feel free to keep your OOTD on repeat.
4. He brought fashion to the masses. From his work with Details magazine in the ’60s to his longstanding column for the New York Times, Cunningham’s photos chronicled the comings and goings of the world’s most stylish people. His collages gave endless inspo to the world (pre-Pinterest, no less!), and though we will certainly miss his presence, his work will forever live on to keep us on our trendsetting toes.
What will you remember most about Bill? Tweet us over @BritandCo!
(Photos via D Dipasupil, Cindy Ord + Gareth Cattermole/Getty)