Tributes flow for NYC photographer Bill Cunningham

LEGENDARY New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has died last night at the age of 87.

Bill Cunningham, whose watchful eye brought images of New Yorkers to the public, had been hospitalised recently after a stroke, the Times reported.

Credited with creating the genre of street fashion photography, Cunningham worked for the Times for nearly 40 years, operating "as a dedicated chronicler of fashion and as an unlikely cultural anthropologist," the newspaper said.  

The fashion photography icon rode a bicycle around New York in his trademark blue workman's jacket with a camera slung around his neck and had an uncanny talent for unearthing major, even avant-garde trends on the street, on the catwalk or at glittering parties.

Samantha Bedard, a photography and film student from South Hampton, NY posted this insight on Facebook, a tribute to the New York icon:

Last summer at an event I noticed a frail old man with bruises all over and a knee brace struggling to walk.

I felt sorry for him seeing him from afar, but close up I saw a smile that echoed happiness that never left his face and a camera stationed in front of his eye the whole night. Fascinated by this man, I couldn't take my eyes off of him.

Later that night he walked up to me with the same smile on his face looking at the crown made out of flowers that I was wearing on top of my head.

"Oh! That's cute! I hope you made that, did you?"

Sadly, I didn't but he made me wish I had.

"Can I take your picture?"

He slowly raised the camera, which gave me a moment to see the bruises on his face and I was amazed that a man, who looked to be in so much pain, would go through this just to take my picture, let alone hundreds more that same night.

When he walked away a friend was staring at me, "That was a big deal, do you know who that was?"

I didn't at the time, but now I do, and I know why it was a big deal.

Rest in peace to an inspiration of a human being.

I feel lucky that our paths crossed that night.

Celebrities have shared their condolences from around the world today:

 


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