Bill Cunningham (1929 - 2016) was a documentarian of fashion for over half a century, and his photographs are informed by a lifelong passion for style. Part of the fabric of the ever-changing metropolis of New York City, Cunningham became renowned for his ability to spot and photograph fashion trends at their inception. Singular in the history of fashion photography, Cunningham reinvented the genre and embraced straightforward images taken on the city streets, as opposed to the use of posed models, within the studio setting. due to his fastidious approach to image making and a devotion to his craft, Bill Cunningham created an extraordinary body of work that not only captured the history of fashion, but also the zeitgeist of his time. 


Bill Cunningham was born in 1929 and raised in Massachusetts. Cunningham briefly attended Harvard University before moving to New York City to pursue a career as a milliner. After designing hats for a number of years and working with bespoke retailers like Chez Ninon, Cunningham observed women's fashion trends moving away from headwear. With this observation, he made the prescient transition into journalism. Working as a columnist for the Women's Wear Daily, and as a New York based reporter for the Chicago Tribune in the mid 1960s, Cunningham began what became a lifelong career in fashion journalism. During his career working for the New York Times, Cunningham kept his freedom as a freelancer close. He would frequently contribute to noted fashion magazines such as Vogue and Town & Country, and helped launch Details in 1982. Cunningham would work with the Times until his death in 2016. 


Bill Cunningham's life and work have been written about extensively in publications. He has also been the subject of an award-winning documentary, Bill Cunningham New York (2010) and more recently, The Times of Bill Cunningham (2018). At the time of his death, Cunningham left behind the manuscript of an autobiography, which he titled Fashion Climbing


Prior to his passing, Cunningham compiled a manuscript of his autobiography, titled Fashion Climbing, which was then published posthumously in 2018. The Bill Cunningham foundation was established to promote and support Cunningham's photographs and his legacy. 

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