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Iconic Fashion Photographer Bill Cunningham’s Whimsical Photos of Vintage New York

There’s making it in New York, and then there’s being photographed by Bill Cunningham. The man in the blue jacket who zooms around the city snapping photos of stylish people for the New York Times is one of the city’s living legends, as well as an icon in the fashion world for his ability to spot beauty and style as it walks past among the millions of other bodies that fill the sidewalks of New York every day.

Long before he started telling the world what’s hot in one of its fashion capitals, Cunningham was working on his Façades project, pairing models dressed in the attire of a certain period against architecture that corresponded with the outfit. He took the shots between 1968 and 1976, a period when New York’s luster was in decline. But Cunningham, always on the lookout for beauty, framed the subjects and the city with the timeless elegance that only an artist of his stature could achieve.

Beginning in March, the New-York Historical Society will exhibit Cunningham’s whimsical and stylish series. Preview some of the stunning highlights from Bill Cunningham: Façades below.

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

Editta Sherman on the Subway

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

St. Paul’s Chapel, New York City

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

Federal Hall, New York City

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

Central Park Bridge

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

Bowery Savings Bank, New York City

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

“21” Club, New York City

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Photo credit: Bill Cunningham. Image courtesy New-York Historical Society.

GM Building, New York City