Photo: Patrick Demarchelier for Harper’s Bazaar

Before street style became the circus it is today, and even before Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, or Tommy Ton, there was Bill Cunningham. Up until his passing this Saturday, Cunningham was a legendary street style photographer for the New York Times, a designated living landmark, an accomplished milliner, and street style photographer scouring the streets on his bike, looking for the exotic looks of fashion. Every fashionista’s dream was to be photographed by him. For me, Bill was an inspiration because of his enthusiasm for personal style and discovery.  He was one of the first to recognize the value of observing what people wore every day and understood the importance that style has on culture and self-communication. The following is a favorite quotes of mine from Bill and reminds me why personal style and getting dressed every morning is so important, ““Fashion is as vital and as interesting today as ever. I know what people with a more formal attitude mean when they say they’re horrified by what they see on the street. But fashion is doing its job. It’s mirroring exactly our times.” I’ll forever be primping and getting dressed with this in mind. To get you started and inspired today, click through to the notes to see some of the best and brightest of Bill Cunningham’s street style photos of all time. –– Michelle Rotbart20150725billc-superJumbo BILL-CUNNINGHAM-slide-GNZP-superJumbo

All Photos: Bill Cunningham , New York Times

Special Thanks to Michelle Rotbart for this post. Michelle is a professional trend forecaster for the NYC-based fashion and retail forecaster, Doneger Group

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