Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Importance of Bill Cunningham

    I was introduced to the works of Bill Cunningham at age fourteen after telling one of my professors at FIT I wanted to be a fashion journalist. I remember sitting in my menswear design classroom just watching his work for a solid hour and a half- we probably went through about fifty of those minute long videos. Never have I seen a piece of fashion journalism that is so fun, friendly, and influential to watch. Since discovering Cunningham, I have been heavily influenced by his style of documentation.
  Though Bill Cunningham did not create "man on the street" he definitely revolutionized it. His genuine, light hearted, and approachable personality attracted not only those in the fashion community and brought a fun twist to the rather "uppity" styles of those around him. Cunningham was in constant amazement of the pieces and trends he saw and put the trope of jaded journalist to shame. Not only did he appear wide eyed and excited towards all the people he photographed, he gave everything and everyone a chance. There was no "brand" with Cunningham's work and that's what personal style is all about. 
   With the loss of such a unique and brilliant photographer and journalist, I question where personal style columns (especially the NY Times) will go. No one will ever be able to replace the bright and glowing personality of Bill Cunningham but I definitely hope to see future writers who take up the open minded and constantly growing outlook that Cunningham put into his "Man on the Street". 

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