Death of a Fashionista

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Will Ragozzino for Racked NY, March 2012
Bill Cunningham, photographed by Will Ragozzino for Racked NY, March 2012

When Bill Cunningham died suddenly in June 2016, I was in the middle of writing a post about him. I didn’t get it finished in time to honor him then. Cunningham regularly attended museum openings here at the Museum at FIT. I was even photographed by him for one of those events! Now that publicity has begun for his posthumous memoir, I feel I can finally finish that old post.

museum of natural jackson paper


What got me excited about Bill Cunningham were the old issues of Details magazine in our collection. Details is the publication that gave Cunningham carte blanche to design his ideal job. He photographed fashion shows, but he also took pictures of the audiences and New York’s party scene. Back then Details covered avant garde fashion for both men and women and only in black and white (sorry!)(it changed to covering just men in 1990 or so). Both Cunningham and his photography were featured regularly in the 1980s.





magazine fashion



I’m sure we’ll buy a copy of his memoir when it comes out, but we have the movie about him already:

FIT Library Catalog

The 1980s were a colorful and exuberant time in the fashion world. It seems that Bill Cunningham never lost that excitement or enjoyment of color. I hope he has plenty of people to watch wherever he’s riding his bicycle now. We miss you, Bill!



For more about his life and love of fashion:

Bill Cunningham Left Behind a Secret Memoir

Bill Cunningham on Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham’s Columns, the Early Days

In the Life of Bill Cunningham

New York City to Rename Intersection ‘Bill Cunningham Corner’


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3 Responses to Death of a Fashionista

  1. Reader says:

    Thank you links. Cunningham died in 2016.

  2. Reader says:

    Thank you for the links. Cunningham died in 2016.

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