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.
'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.