#ICYMI Day 8: Remembering the legacy of photographer Bill Cunningham

For the entire month of December your WGSN global editors are coming live and direct to you through the WGSN Insider blog. We’re rounding up this overwhelming year, by cutting through the noise to deliver you, our “WGSN #ICYMI” rundown.

It’s a rundown of the coolest moments of the year, the most innovative ad campaigns, plus super cool products that may have flown under your radar this busy year, and we’ll give you insight into the people (read: key influencers) from this year, and remember the fashion stars who left us, but will never be forgotten.



WGSN Staffer: Yianni Giovanoglou, Client Services & Trends Specialist Australia/New Zealand


“Hey WGSN Insider readers, I think we can all agree that 2016 was a pretty terrible year for many reasons, thankfully 2017 offers some cheerful hope and newness.

This year it was especially upsetting to see the deaths of so many legendary figures. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen – in 2016, the world grieved the loss of some of the world’s most influential artists.

But it wasn’t only the music industry that suffered. We also sadly lost one of the fashion industry’s greatest icons – Bill Cunningham.


Bill Cunningham== ARTS CONNECTION 2012 Benefit Celebration Honoring MARK WAHLBERG and RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM== Skylight West, NYC== June 11, 2012== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - CLINT SPAULDING/PatrickMcMullan.com== ==

Unlike the Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino and the Tommy Tons of the world, Bill Cunningham was looked upon differently because he simply didn’t care for the perks and frills of the industry. He had an unrivalled thirst for wanting to photograph the ever-changing face of fashion, and he did it with a real sense of authenticity, reverence and gusto.

Bill photographed everyone who embodied fashion in their own unique way. From the blue bloods of eastside Manhattan like the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, to the low slung jeans seen on the B-boys of Harlem. He was excited by it all and saw the beauty in everyone.

Whether it was the latest ‘it’ bag or a quirky jacket, Bill had to capture it. To be photographed by him was an absolute honour. No one put it better than the style icon herself, Anna Wintour, when she proclaimed that, “we all dress for Bill”.


His 40-year career saw him become the darling of New York – he was a true icon of style in one of the world’s most stylish cities. In fact, New York loved him so much, it named him “a living landmark” in 2009. The year before that, he received the Legion of Honor from the French government whilst working in Paris.

When Bill passed away in June, it wasn’t only a loss for the industry that loved him so dearly but also for anyone who appreciated and found relevance in his work. His infectious fashion photography – whether of street style or catwalks – is not only diverse and everlasting, but captures how different segments of society express their identity through fashion. And for that, Bill, we will always be grateful.

Like this? Follow Yianni on Instagram here.

Look out for our full #ICYMI calendar coming up everyday on WGSN Insider, this month. Check out day seven here, for the pick-me-up daily dancing Instagram.

At WGSN our global employees are first when it comes to emerging trends, designers to watch, and the retail brands doing dynamic things. For more curated insight, join WGSN.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

WGSN Insider Bulletin

Big data meets consumer insights. Experience WGSN.

Related Stories

WGSN + Coloro: Key Colours A/W 21/22

Highlights from the wonderful world of Tim Walker's new V&A exhibition

How to avoid brand blunders in China