Before The Sartorialist, Facehunter, and Garance Dore, there was the NY Times' photojournalist, Bill Cunningham and in recognition for his devotion to chronicling fashion he has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the CarnegieHall Medal of Excellence. Cunningham was chosen by a panel that includes Annette and Oscar de la Renta, and Sarah Jessica Parker who are this year’s Gala Chairs, as well as Diana von Furstenberg who serves as a Gala Co-Chair.
This award follows the title ‘Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Ministry of Culture, which he received in 2008, and also recognises his outstanding dedication to philanthropy, especially recognising the important place that arts, culture, and non-profit causes hold in the life of New York City.
Currently a photographer for The New York Times, he has been chronicling American fashion trends on film for more than 50 years, including running two columns that celebrate the vibrant landscape of New York City life. Both ‘Evening Hours’ and ‘On the Street’ served as staples in the Fashion & Style sections of the Times, featuring his images on a weekly basis.
This year, the photojournalist was also the centre of a fashion documentary, Bill Cunningham New York by Richard Press, which offered a poignant portrait and even featured Anna Wintour who said, “We all get dressed for Bill.” The film followed him around New York, while he covered his two columns and New York Fashion Week, and has won many awards across the world for Best Documentary.
To receive his honour, a gala will take place at The Waldorf Astoria on April 23.
Image: Bill Cunningham New York Film