Bill Cunningham

When photographers crowding the entrance of a memorial service would be seen as tacky or tasteless, this is not a normal memorial or circumstance. Bill Cunningham‘s celebration of life ceremony, which was held at Carnegie Hall, photographers was not only welcome but embraced by the crowd of fashion insiders and celebrities. As the Griggs brothers said, “we dressed for Billy today,” and this well-dressed crowd proved just that! Everybody came dressed for that last pic with Bill and to pay homage to man himself. Rather than wearing all-black, the audience wore their take on a French blue jacket, in homage to Cunningham’s signature style.

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Chris Griggs & Clayton Griggs photograph by Rebecca Smeyne for GQ

I must say everybody looked great, touching tributes and all, but the real act of celebration took place on the street outside Carnegie, where the humble Cunningham would have felt most comfortable. The invitation stated: Dress for Bill, admirers from the world of fashion, art, high society, especially among those he had simply encountered on the streets over the years, turned out by the dozens.

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Griggs Brother (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

No exaggeration, hundreds of New Yorker’s packed Carnegie Hall to celebrate late fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who passed away at the age of 87 in June. Cunningham spent nearly 40 years at the New York Times shooting fashion and social events, where his singular eye documented the changing character of the city. I guess you can say, we are that changing character and Bill wasn’t afraid to capture that. He never lost the eye for seeing whats special, know matter the color vessel the life comes in. Endlessly devoted to his craft without an agenda, Bill brought a new life and vibrancy to the pages of The Times. Riding through Gotham on a bike for 40 years doing what you loved, is what made him superhero!

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Ralph Lauren slipper (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

I guess you can say we met Bill, the same way most people did, by him capturing them in a photograph. From one photo turned into a Garment District friendship with the man on the bike and the royal blue blazer. Inspired by Bill’s work and low-key style we made our own version of his signature jacket back in 2012 that has become a stable in our outerwear collection, called the Cunningham.

From what we understand, Bill loved colors and things that flow, he would talk to us about the shows in Europe and the parties he attended, but rarely anything too personal. All we can say he lived his life on his own terms,” there will never be another Bill Cunningham, his passion is ingrained in this city and in our memory forever.
R.I.H Billy
Artisan Field Jacket

Cunningham Field Jacket