The industry has lost a legend. Fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died Saturday evening at the age of 87. The street-style photographer is as synonymous to New Yorkers as the Statue of Liberty. Cunningham, with his signature blue jacket and bike, captured the most memorable trends like fanny packs, Birkin bags, and fluorescent biker shorts.
Considering his importance to pop culture and the fashion world, it was no shock that the fashion industry grieved together online with an outpouring of memories and images of the New York icon. Celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Molly Ringwald, Ann Wintour, Rihanna, and Joe Zee to name a few, took to social media to express their heartbreak over the loss of such an iconic man.
For decades Cunningham stood on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th street photographing New Yorkers for the New York Times. Now there is a petition on change.org to have that street renamed after him. Almost 3,000 have signed that petition.
“In 2009, Bill Cunningham was named a ‘New York Living Landmark.’ Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon the City and the Landmarks Commission to convert this to a permanent status,” stats the renaming petition.
The petition is address to Mayor Bill De Blasio, Manhattan Community Board, and Meenasshi Srinivan, chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to WWD, the odds of the corner being renamed are low: the Community Board says there has been a moratorium on street naming in the district for more than eight years and the City Council doesn’t typically force the Board to do so. A plaque or statue of Cunningham is more likely.