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      Bill Cunningham

      Bill Cunningham

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      Photographer Bill Cunningham went from working as a hat maker to influencing multiple generations of fashion photographers. A Boston native, he dropped out of Harvard and served in the Army during the Korean War, spending his service time largely in France. Moving to New York, he began working as a milner, designing hats under the moniker of "William J." His designs brought him notice from the social elite, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Katharine Hepburn. He moved into fashion journalism, writing for Women's Wear Daily and the Chicago Tribune. With no formal training as a photographer, Cunningham began taking photos in connection with his writing, usually capturing subjects on the streets of New York City. A photo essay of his work was published by the New York Times. That led to him becoming a regular contributor to the Times with the photo column "On the Street." His impromptu shooting style became a fixture in the New York press. He was also a contributor to Details magazine, beginning in 1985 and added a second column in the Times, "Evening Hours," in 1989. Despite being part of the fashion world, he largely eschewed the flashy lifestyle that usually accompanies it, riding his Schwinn bicycle around New York. His work gave equal attention to everyday citizens as it did to the rich and famous. Apart from his print work, Cunningham garnered acclaim for his "Facades" project, which involved pairing vintage fashions with Manhattan architecture. The work received multiple exhibitions and was published in the book "Facades" (Penguin, 1978). He participated in a documentary about his work by director Richard Press titled "Bill Cunningham New York" (2011). Shortly after suffering a stroke, Cunningham passed away on June 25, 2016 at the age of 87. After his death, an autobiographical manuscript was found, resulting in the posthumously published "Fashion Climbing" (Penguin, 2018).


      BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, Bill Cunningham, photographing Anna Wintour, 2010. ©Zeitgeist Films BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, Bill Cunningham, 2010. ©Zeitgeist Films BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, Bill Cunningham (right), 2010. ©Zeitgeist Films BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, Bill Cunningham, 2010. ©Zeitgeist Films



      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bill Cunningham Show Host 2011-2016