Parting Memory Of Bill Cunningham
The Style section of The New York Times is today, in large part, a fond recollection of what made Bill Cunningham special. There are countless ads–some full paged–to honor the man and his love of roaming the streets of New York with his camera—and doing so on his blue bike.
Anna Wintour, Editor in chief of Vogue
Over the many years I knew Bill, there was one thing I was never able to get him to do: get him off his bike. I asked him so many times if he’d like a ride — at arrivals at Charles de Gaulle Airport, or exiting a fashion show positioned miles away from the next. It was always the same response, a laughing, ‘No, Child,’ which, despite the cheeriness of the response, was firm enough to brook no further discussion. Well, almost never, I should say. Back in 2013, with the streets of New York turned by enormous snowdrifts into near-impassable mountain ranges, I saw Bill valiantly struggling with his bicycle by Lincoln Center. I stopped the car and asked if he wanted some help. Even he couldn’t refuse that time. On the journey back to The New York Times, we laughed and talked about everything but fashion, with Bill looking a little lost without his wheels, and when I deposited him on Eighth Avenue, he shot out of the car as fast as he could, putting not only a physical, but also a mental, distance between himself and the fleeting moment he had had to sacrifice his scrupulously (and admirably) maintained standards. That bike of Bill’s was always about more than a means to get from A to B. It represented the way this wonderful and singular man navigated through our world without ever losing his way.