Legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away on June 25 this year, which means this is the first New York Fashion Week without him. Throughout his career, he photographed well-heeled New Yorkers at various style stalking locations throughout the city for Details, WWD, and The New York Times. He was often spotted shooting outside of Bergdorf's on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue (a corner which was briefly named in his honor), the tents at Bryant Park, Lincoln Center, and more, for his street style column On The Street. Toward the end of his career, a documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, was made to commemorate his journey and influence throughout the industry. Today, as NYFW officially kicks off, Cunningham is being remembered — by his signature blue jacket.
Since June, we've been mourning the loss of his photographs, his toothy smile, and that jacket. As expected, members of the fashion community are commemorating the photographer, and they're doing it by wearing their own blue toppers. Thanks to his hallmark coat, Bill was fairly easy to spot, weaving through the crowds or perched front row at myriad shows. Now, it's a touching way to celebrate his legacy.
Bill's jacket was quite special. It's a French workman's jacket that he purchased during Couture Week in Paris at a hardware store for $20, according to GQ. The pockets were just large enough to hold his rolls of film. Earlier today, the photographers at The Shows at The Dock, Sylight at Moynihan Station (a hub for fashion shows this season) were given their very own version of his little blue jacket, which was created in partnership with IMG and Villency Design Group.
Following Cunningham's death, countless fashion editors, designers, and photographers mourned the loss in the form of essays, drawings, and Instagram posts. But we've never seen a tribute quite as unifying (and touching) as this. Bill's passing is still fresh, and if you haven’t thought about him yet this NYFW, that’s okay, because, in a way, it feels like he’s still here. Ahead, check out a few photos of Cunningham being honored by his fellow photographers; they're bound to give you all the feels, and hopefully, make you smile.