On the Street with Bill

 Bill has been the man about town, for about the last 40 years maybe more.
I have memories seeing him on his bike while I walked the streets of Manhattan in the late 80's.
He was already an Icon, everyone in the fashion industry knew who he was. 
Whenever we'd see him out on the street or at some new club opening or fashion party, we would always say "Hello Bill!" It really didn't matter to any of us that we actually knew him because if you worked in any part of the fashion industry in NYC you would see him everywhere. He was always on hand with his camera ready to shoot. I personally think he liked us greeting him with a "Hey Bill" he would always smile and say Hi, sometimes he'd take a picture of me or my friends. I have always wondered if he had me in his vast files of photos. But from what I have heard his files are deep and big and really who knows.
 For as long as I remember he was this white haired guy with a smile on his face, and to tell you the truth I think riding that same bike.
Bill is the first true street style photographer, he forged the path that many follow today.
A quote from Bill on Bill in the New York Times tells how it all started.

'One night, in about 1966, the illustrator Antonio Lopez took me to dinner in London with a photographer named David Montgomery. I told him I wanted to take some pictures. When David came to New York a few months later, he brought a little camera, an Olympus Pen-D half-frame. It cost about $35. He said, ''Here, use it like a notebook.'' And that was the real beginning.'

I heard about this documentary a while back but it's opening so very soon now and I can't wait to see it.

The final quote from Bill on Bill you might just want to hop over and read it yourself.

'The main thing I love about street photography is that you find the answers you don't see at the fashion shows. You find information for readers so they can visualize themselves. This was something I realized early on: If you just cover the designers in the shows, that's only one facet. You also need the street and the evening hours. If you cover the three things, you have the full picture of what people are wearing.' 

Just take a look at the trailer I guarantee if you have never heard of him before you'll love him and his Genius. 

Bill Cunningham New York Trailer from Gavin McWait on Vimeo.


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oomph. said...

wow..what an amazing man. never did hear of him, but i'm definitely intrigued!



I hadn't heard of Bill...What an incredible story.
I will definitely be going to see this.
I just sent the link to my cousin, he will love it :)


sacramento said...

I saw this video a while ago, and I was touched by what he said, and I shard: if you don´t take money, they cannot tell you what to do.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh just magnificent.
Thank you for remindeing me of his greatness.
Muuch love.

Sarah said...

This looks great!

skeletaldreams said...

This man seems so amazing. It's such a lovely thing that he still does what he loves even to this day.

Ivânia Santos (Diamond) said...

IS fantastic!!!

Ivânia Diamond*

Allie said...

I adore Bill Cunningham! Thanks so much for doing this post on him, I can't wait to see the documentary about him, I mean if there was ever an interesting man to make a film about it would be Bill Cunningham.


Lucy said...

Super :))

It blog girls said...

Bill is just amazing

Blade said...


HA!!!! you're probably as amazed as I am that many of the above never heard of Bill. I guess we have the advantage of being New Yorkers "of a certain age" and seeing his work every week in the NY Times. You've done a great service by enlightening your followers

He was my inspiration to do street fashion. I love is eye for style. I absolutely agree with his quote you posted. If you just cover the runways and designers you don't get the whole picture. It's important to see how it filters down to the street. What people who have to pay for their own cloths are wearing and how they mix and match to create their own style.

I really feel it's to bad that more of the younger bloggerazzie aren't familiar with Bills work. They might be more inspired to break out of the just stand there or drag them into the middle of the street for the firing squad style pics that are so prevalent you can't tell who took what.

I bump into Bill all the time walking the streets. I always say Hi he always nods back. We never talk much probably because we're both to worried we'll miss the next shot. Yes were lucky the looks come at you fast and often here in Manhattan.

He still shoots film and it seems rarely takes more than one or two shoots. I love this guy.

Thanks for the post

Blade The Urban Vogue


Absolutely Mrs. K said...

this man is a legend, so everybody should bring a tribute to this man, thanks for sharing.

SH said...

hey there, please check out my newest post on www.newyorkfashion-sh.blogspot.com


Cassidy said...

Haha what an awesome old man.

Mandsy said...

Ofcourse i´ll follow you :)

mandsyyy.blogspot.com , to follow me back :)

Tea For Two said...

He's a very inspirational fashion scavenger of sorts, the kind of radical, underground 'outsider' that definitely deserves a documentary.

Nia Langley said...

AH! This is so incredibly awesome! Bill Cunningham is amazing! =) Thanks so much for sharing!


Anna said...

Wow what an inspirational man. I'm so glad they are making a movie about him! I definitely want to go see it.
p.s you blog is so interesting. I don't think I've ever spent this long reading one blog - am now following :)

Stacey Kay said...

This is a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this. What a great collective of photographs. Vintage <3

Stacey Kay
“Runway Inspiration, Vintage Decoration”
Blogger Spotlight: Pearls and Personality
My Vintage Handbag Line

Cindy Whitehead said...

He really is THE original street photographer. Can't wait to see this documentary - thanks for letting us know!