Bill Cunningham, on the street, after the Super Bowl Giants Parade
Super Bowl NY
Image by Dan Nguyen @ New York City
A giant of fashion and street photography, spotted on Broadway after the Super Bowl NY Giants Parade in his trademark blue jacket.

According to the famous documentary made about him, you’re not supposed to look at him if you see him, so that his photos maintain a candid air. I’m assuming actually taking a picture of him means that my getup of UNIQLO shirts and discount jeans will never make it into his New York Times "On the Street" fashion column. Oh well, I had to do it.

If you don’t know much about Cunningham, he’s a beloved legend among fashion figures and photographers. Here’s what some have said about him:

I was 24 when I met Bill, and he was to become the formative influence of my life. He taught me how to tell a story with pictures and that it didn’t always involve the best image. I’d say to him, ”But isn’t this a better photo?” And he’d say, ”Yes, child, but this photo tells the story better.” For him, it wasn’t about the aesthetics of photography. It was about storytelling. – Leslie Vinson.

His street photography was a breakthrough for The Times, because it was the first time the paper had run pictures of well-known people without getting their permission. The Times had always been prissy about that. – Arthur Gelb, former managing editor at the Times.

His famous documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, is on Netflix Instant Play.. Here’s a New Yorker piece about him.

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