Article Oct 22, 2016

You are no longer passing

Fashion stars celebrate Bill Cunningham's work in New York

Steven Kolb and Anna Wintour were just two of the fashion stars who celebrated late photographer Bill Cunningham’s work in New York on Monday night (17Oct16).

The famed lensman passed away aged 87 in June (16) after being hospitalized for a stroke and many were quick to pay tribute afterwards, including Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman which created a display dedicated to Bill in its window.

And the memories continued to flow on Monday as some of the industry’s elite gathered at the city’s Carnegie Hall, including Steven, the President and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“I often sat next to him at fashion shows, and once in Europe, an unnamed celebrity came in; all the press was going crazy, but Bill just sat there,” he recalled, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He turned to me and said, ‘I don’t care about personalities. I care about the clothes.’ And you saw that always in his work.”

Fashion journalist and editor-in-chief of Vogue U.S. Anna read Lord Byron’s poem So We’ll Go No More a Roving, explaining she chose the rhyme as it reminded her of how much joy she felt upon seeing the photographer. The pair shared a close relationship, with Bill revealing in 2002 that the fashionista was his muse, while Anna said “everyone dresses for Bill” during filming of the 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham New York.

Some of the guests reflected upon how Bill would greet them, as publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. of the New York Times, which presented the event, fondly recalled Bill calling him “kid”, while J Crew designer Jenna Lyons added: “I will miss him saying, ‘Hello, child.’”

Other big names at the event included Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Naomi Campbell, who continued to share their memories of Bill even after the ceremony concluded.