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The Master....Bill Cunningham, Paris


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Master....Bill Cunningham, Paris

I was sitting next to Mr. Cunningham during the Viktor & Rolf show this past October.

It was so charming to see how excited he still gets at a great show. I'm sure it's his natural enthusiasm and not the typical "seen it all before" blase ,so common in fashion, that's kept him going all these years.

Everytime I think I've accomplished a little something with this blog, I think of him and realize I have another 35 years before I can even start feeling that way.

Comments on "The Master....Bill Cunningham, Paris"


Blogger Emily McGuire said ... (5:32 PM) : 

That realisation must feel exciting!


Blogger Ammu said ... (5:38 PM) : 

He's brilliant and so are you - I look forward to many more books from you :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:44 PM) : 

I love him, his snaps and his commentary in the Times online. he enjoys his work so much and so do I!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:46 PM) : 

a kind of (eye) guide ?


Blogger Froulala said ... (5:48 PM) : 

I love Bill Cunningham. You're right! It is his joie de vivre that keeps him fresh.


Blogger leyla said ... (5:48 PM) : 

When you truly love something, there is no limit to how long and how hard you will work.

I work in the event business and (even though I am much younger than he is), I still get very excited at a successful event.


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:50 PM) : 

Truly inspirational. I want to be like that when I grow old. Enthusiastic about my job and what I do.
check out my trendy blog!


Blogger pretty.bird said ... (5:52 PM) : 

you have undeniably captured Mr. Cunningham's "natural enthusiasm".
Fantastic work!


Blogger stumpette said ... (5:53 PM) : 

you have accomplished inspiring us! and you have accomplished making me feel that the stuff in my closet can look as chic (almost) as high end fashion.


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:56 PM) : 

Bill Cunningham is truly wonderful. His "On the Street" features are a delight.

As you say, it's his enthusiasm and delight in the charm and beauty of everyday detail that make his photos, comments and person so marvellous. He's a real hero of mine.

Marian D


Blogger Blade said ... (6:00 PM) : 

He is the greatest. It was his work that inspired me to go out and do candid street fashion. Have a look at the link below



Blogger Jessica said ... (6:00 PM) : 

Gosh that is wonderful to hear!


Anonymous Fashion 1 on 1 said ... (6:05 PM) : 

That's what I looking forward the most: Do what I most the love for living.
I love your blog btw. very exciting.


Blogger ce said ... (6:05 PM) : 

A m a z i n g ! !


Blogger TheHypeAround... said ... (6:05 PM) : 

Bill makes my day evertime I view his column or slideshow on the NYT website. Such a delightful man , stil full of enthusiasm for the streets of New York and Paris.


Anonymous princess glee said ... (6:12 PM) : 

You're setting yourself up for even further greatness...nice.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:24 PM) : 

I really enjoyed this post and that photo is wonderful.

Polly x


Blogger C A said ... (6:24 PM) : 

I wouldn't get surprised, he's one of the very few who Loves fashion. Yes, for me 90% of people don't love fashion, don't even know who was the first Haute Couture designer in the world.



Anonymous gordon Tiemstra said ... (6:28 PM) : 

The 'seen it all before' - feeling will especially not rise during the Viktor & Rolf show since they are always refreshing and spectacular!


Blogger Sigivald said ... (6:32 PM) : 

And still shooting film, no less!

And manual focus, if I'm not mistaken and that's an F3.

Refreshing, really.


Blogger Holly said ... (6:52 PM) : 

You are so right Scott...each day we have is another day to grow...


Blogger Abigail James said ... (6:58 PM) : 

Bill is AMAZING! I really admire his humility despite his great accomplishments. Props:)


Blogger By René Fragoso said ... (7:09 PM) : 

This is just a breathe taking shot. Thanks Mr. Sartorialist.


Blogger s milano said ... (7:12 PM) : 

yes I think he's great, I watch his video clips on NYC fashion in the New York Times website every time and I'm not even from NY.....


Blogger alastair said ... (7:32 PM) : 

Can't help but put me in mind of the classic phrase:
"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"


Anonymous dale said ... (7:40 PM) : 

This is a stunning portrait of Mr. Cunningham. What a gentlemen, and a true artist!

I'm sure he is fond of this photo.


Blogger The Spicers said ... (7:43 PM) : 

He's amazing! His narrated "On the Street" feature is the best part of the NYTimes online.


Anonymous RAYMOND A. said ... (7:44 PM) : 



Anonymous Meadow said ... (7:49 PM) : 

Love. this. lighting


Anonymous Sara Lua said ... (7:59 PM) : 

I love Bill Cunningham! His photoessays and insight & laugh really perk up my days. His experience also gives his statements historical weight, and I love his old New York wisdom!!!


Anonymous Well Done said ... (8:12 PM) : 

yes, he is the master.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:23 PM) : 

Precious, darling man. I get off on his enthusiasm - and his accent. Long live Bill!


Blogger samvt said ... (8:32 PM) : 

I agree with everyone here that Bill Cunningham is the best! He has this slightly irreverant attitude toward fashion that just makes it a joy to listen to his "On the Street" commentaries. Love him!


Anonymous Sukhpreet said ... (8:39 PM) : 

Aw, I'm so happy to see Mr. Cunningham on here, and love how much respect you always seem to show for him. He is one of the greats, with an especially fantastic voice.


Anonymous klm said ... (8:47 PM) : 

Love both of you!


Blogger Hannah Stephenson said ... (8:58 PM) : 

What a beautiful photo. His expression is great.


Anonymous Charlotte K said ... (8:59 PM) : 

He is the Master.

The only improvement after his years of sharing his love is the marvelously narrated slideshow now available online each week to supplement his Sunday "on the street" feature.


Blogger Shoestring Traveler said ... (9:02 PM) : 

WOW! Great composition! I really like the depth of field in this shot, and how the background just melts away.


Blogger Susan said ... (9:06 PM) : 

I love it! This photo is great!


Anonymous Kikiss said ... (9:16 PM) : 

Nice portrait of Mr. Cunningham.
Beautiful smile !


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:21 PM) : 

How charming to be sitting next to a master...smiles.


Anonymous sanmiguelense said ... (9:47 PM) : 

I have been looking at Bill Cunningham's photos in the NYT as long as I can remember. I love him and the fact that he gets around New York on a bike. He's the original! And you, Scott, have some mighty big mocassins to fill. He's done some serious time on the corner of 59th and favorite series was one he did of people avoiding or jumping over a puddle.


Blogger Catherine said ... (9:55 PM) : 

He's a legend. I love how he sees patterns and connections in the crazy mish-mash that is New York City. There was a fantastic article about him in the New Yorker back in March:

Catherine at Littlehouse of Style


Anonymous Chow said ... (9:56 PM) : 

I absolutely adore Bill Cunningham's 'marvelous' weekly New York Times slideshow. So nice to see him in front of the camera! Thanks for the lovely shot.


Blogger Montreal Street Views said ... (9:58 PM) : 

Imagine what a world this could be if 10 percent of the people held that zest and love for life and put their heart into every day like Bill does!
oh What a Wonderful World it Would be! :--)


Blogger Nick Leonard said ... (10:24 PM) : 

Damn, stellar portrait.


Blogger tali said ... (10:56 PM) : 

There's a twinkle in his eye that is so mysterious in this photo. It makes me wonder what great thing his mind is cultivating...


Blogger Madam Knowitall said ... (11:18 PM) : 

The man has an amazing eye for picking the well dressed and what trends are appearing. I love his change of season shots.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:37 PM) : 

bill cunningham is such an inspiration.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:44 PM) : 

The student becomes the teacher !


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:46 PM) : 

Does anyone know what kind of camera he is using in this shot? Hands down the most beautiful shot I have seen in quite a while.


Blogger Lucy in the Sky said ... (12:06 AM) : 

love his personality. as you said, he's so enthusiastic (though I've never met him!) and never jaded by the high-class world of fashion.


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (12:07 AM) : 

Great photo of him! I love your facial portraits the most I think.



Blogger carolet said ... (12:47 AM) : 

I love Bill Cunningham and this is a great picture!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:40 AM) : 

I've only seen snaps of Mr. Cunningham in glossies, but there's always such an energy, even in a small image of this man.

So amazing-- but not surprising to learn from you that he remains always excited, fascinated and just happy about fashion. Wish there were more individuals like him in the industry.



Blogger Soren Lorensen said ... (1:47 AM) : 



Blogger Vinda Sonata said ... (2:06 AM) : 

the feeling must be exciting. i bet he's as great as you are too :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:29 AM) : 

blasé always has an accent aigu over the e.


Anonymous Frances said ... (2:58 AM) : 

Thank you for this amazing portrait!


Blogger X said ... (3:11 AM) : 

What a glorious portrait!!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:39 AM) : 

this photo is epic


Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (4:51 AM) : 

Extremely well taken picture, Scott.

The reason why you don't feel like him is because he shoots with a very cool camera..............
The camera is like a third leg, a third hand, a third arm, a third eye. It becomes a part of you and if you treat your body & mind with the images coming from the will make you feel more comfortable in life.


Blogger Elise said ... (5:21 AM) : 

Did you talk to him? If not, you should!


Anonymous Mai said ... (5:33 AM) : 

Love this man. He is legendary.


Blogger Gary said ... (5:52 AM) : 

magnificent portrait


Blogger San said ... (6:48 AM) : 

Don't sell yourself short. Your photography is simply amazing. Love your blog and pictures. You've got the necessary point of view.

I love that he is still using an analog camera.


Blogger Athene Greig said ... (6:48 AM) : 

This is a beautiful, elegant photograph. He looks very genuine and kind.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:28 AM) : 

I love Bill Cunningham. I can't wait to arrive at work on a Monday morning (in Houston) and pull up his slide show to see his 'theme' of the past week. And his commentary is so delightful to match the photos.


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:34 AM) : 

When I used to work fashion week new york, I'd see him around and he always had such a cheerful glow to him after all these years. A great man indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:36 AM) : 

Bill Cunningham is a genius!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:31 AM) :


Anonymous Angeline said ... (8:34 AM) : 

To me, Mr. Cunningham is the Master. I have been fortunate enough to have been photographed by him on the street and for the last 20 years, I've always been referred to as "child". Thank you, Bill!! ;-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:52 AM) : 

Go Nikon! Love it.


Blogger Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said ... (9:32 AM) : 

Great picture!


Blogger The Concrete Commentator said ... (9:54 AM) : 

Wow! Brilliant Scott..


Anonymous Any said ... (9:57 AM) : 

Hestill rides his bycicle...
I'm curious about his laundry list...
Keep your elegance forever Mister Bill...


Anonymous Anna Z said ... (10:17 AM) : 

Mr Cunningham is a national treasure.
I have sought out his contributions to the NY Times for many years and always felt a little more sophisticated for his keen, sensitive, playful eye. You may well be his natural successor - a very high compliment! Keep up the good work and never take yourself too seriously!
Anna Z.


Anonymous Catherine like Deneuve said ... (10:51 AM) : 

The highlight of my Saturdays is calling up his On the Street slideshow and listening to him, as if he were speaking just to me personally, talk about what fabulous things he has spotted around the city. I miss NYC so much, and he takes me there for a few minutes every week.
My only criticism of him is that it's too long to wait for Saturday! Thank goodness for you and Garance to provide photos more in line with my insatiable demand.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:01 AM) : 

Thank you so much for honoring Bill Cunningham! I have enjoyed his photographs every Sunday for as long as I can remember! He is a true delight!
Your work and blog speak volumes to those of us that love a pure creative approach to fashion/style.......I read your blog everyday and can never get enough.....thank you...L


Blogger lintmag said ... (11:03 AM) : 

I was just saying to a friend that I wish there was a Bill Cunningham book of all his great photos (also Steven Meisel) - I always look for his page in the Times first on Sundays.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:25 AM) : 

That's a lovely post...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:04 PM) : 


I think that you do not need 35 more years to feel the light and beauty of who you are and your talent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Blogger Janis said ... (12:18 PM) : 

Mr. Cunningham is an inspiration... :^)


Blogger Mofoo said ... (12:48 PM) : 

What a beautiful record of a special crossing of paths. Bravo Scott and Bill! (And Mr. C uses film- holy smokes, that's vintage, no wonder you took his picture).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:34 PM) : 

Mr. Cunningham is the bomb! The sincerity with which he approaches style - on the street, the runway,daily wear, high-end, no-ends,...his sincerity and wonder make me look for his work, his contribution is invigorating.


Blogger Lauren Carter said ... (3:04 PM) : 

Awesome comment. I have worked with some phenomenal people in the entertainment industry who are much older, and have observed it's such a privilege to have work you love to keep you going for a long, long time. And I hope I have that privilege. Xo


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:35 PM) : 

Profound ! The mentored becomes the master !


Anonymous Nono V. said ... (3:47 PM) : 

amazing portrait. I wish I had one of myself!


Blogger WWD said ... (4:31 PM) : 

He's awesome


Blogger Cobalt Violet said ... (5:30 PM) : 

Beautiful warm light an the lights behind him... great photo.


Blogger Unknown said ... (6:41 PM) : 

is he shooting film? that, alone, is the perfect accessory.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:44 PM) : 

What I love about Bill Cunningham is that he's not so interested in youth or beautiful people - rather he celebrates and delights in fashion and style in a way that's whimsical and accessible to all. I love this quote from him in a March 2009 New Yorker profile: “I don’t really see people—I see clothes. People say everybody’s a slob. Ridiculous! There are marvellously”—it came out, in a wonderful archaic honk, as “maah-vah-lously”—“dressed women you see at a quarter to eight, going to business. When people say fashion is no more, they’re ridiculous! It’s as good as it ever was.”


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:19 AM) : 

I'm so glad you took this photo! It's such a great pic of him. Glad to see he's still shooting film!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:59 AM) : 

There is so much expressed in this photo.
I love Bill Cunningham's advice "so go on out there and have fun with it." Rock on, Mr. Cunningham!


Anonymous desertwind said ... (8:44 PM) : 

You know what sets you and Bill above the rest, Sart?

You like people.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:11 AM) : 

love your respect for the greats. you're well on your way. & great portrait.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:26 AM) : 

stars in the eyes...nice.

Cheers from Paris!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:00 AM) : 

BC uses a Nikon FM2.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:33 PM) : 

"BC uses a Nikon FM2."

As do I. It's a wonderful camera, especially with a 50/1.2 attached. Add Tri-X or Fuji Pro160--you're set.


Blogger HoJo said ... (9:09 PM) : 

Sart, you are what everyone desires to see in a photo of themselves. Their best self shining through. You get the humanity and the human. Wishing you an equally enchanted 2010.

Love Bill Cunningham's NYT pieces. He makes style come alive.


Blogger bird of light said ... (12:11 AM) : 

smiles *


Blogger Lindsey said ... (6:13 PM) : 

wow, a fantastic, fresh portrait!


Blogger John Reyes said ... (11:13 PM) : 

I met him about two weeks ago for a launching event. He is very very humble and down to earth. He is getting old though, but he is making a legacy of his own.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:23 AM) : 

Totally agree with the last sentense.


Blogger TiboduK said ... (10:07 AM) : 

gotta dig that nikon fm :D
nonetheless, that was a great capture!


Blogger Priscilla said ... (12:40 PM) : 

I love bill cunningham and wait every week to enjoy his "on the street" posts on the nytimes online! He sure loves what he does, and reflects that always!


Anonymous lucyinamerica said ... (5:42 PM) : 

I love Bill Cunningham! I got to meet him once, very briefly ... such a thrill!


Blogger ayoecoemi said ... (10:12 PM) : 

this is just.... beautiful. I think I'm gonna cry.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:35 AM) : 

he looks so concentrated...ready to take the next photo. this picture replaces so much of his passion for photography...lovely!


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:45 AM) : 

hello :D i love your blog! how do you manage to keep your pictures so big in here? can you help me figure that out? :)


Blogger Susie Bright said ... (12:17 AM) : 

I love him so much. and this is such a beautiful portrait of him. very different from the bicycle photo we always see in the Times


Blogger Valéry Lorenzo said ... (1:33 PM) : 

He has stolen my camera !


Anonymous xristopher said ... (11:26 AM) : 

I am not a photographer, but a musician and designer. You have spoken for every real artist here. That feeling of the already/not yet that pervades one's work- the pursuit of a mystery that is evasive and seductive — beauty and truth.

Keep it up man! You are an inspiration.



Blogger kat parker said ... (10:24 PM) : 

beautiful portrait of a beautiful man


Anonymous empress of The Eye said ... (10:57 AM) : 

A true road warrior!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:43 PM) : 

Glad to see somebody's still shooting film.


Anonymous Jessica Chen said ... (4:18 AM) : 

This is a great photo of Mr. Bill Cunningham.

Bravo to both this pic & your comments! Well done!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:38 PM) : 

Bill Cunningham is as refreshing as ever, and yes, he still believes in what he does!


Blogger ckboss said ... (1:03 AM) : 

Love love love bill



Blogger Jo Hilton said ... (10:57 PM) : 

always nice to read artists complimenting other artists. Your work is amazing as is Mr. Cunningham's. Thank you for this education! :)


Blogger Andrea said ... (10:19 AM) : 

Love that it's a film camera.
Ahhh Lovely Film!


Blogger Aaron said ... (9:40 PM) : 

Caught Bill the other day (find him on my blog here:

He is a living legend and if you haven't seen his film yet, please do.


Anonymous Donnie Miller said ... (11:57 AM) : 

I also had the honor of doing a portrait of Bill in NYC. I think the documentary on him has done a tremendous job at elevating public perception of street fashion photography. Find his portrait in the commercial portraits gallery at


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