This week, Carnegie Hall paid tribute to the late New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham. No one captured street style better than Mr. Cunningham, and his devotion to his craft was literally super human.
The tribute was attended by people dressed "for Bill", as the invitation to the event had requested, and Michael Bloomberg and Anna Wintour were two of the speakers. The fashion world's A-listers were in attendance, but it was the words of Joanna Nikas, his colleague at the Times, that touched me the most. She remembered her colleague and friend with these words, “He celebrated the people who refused to be corralled.” What a perfect description of the life work of Bill Cunningham.
None of us really believe we are followers - we believe we are blazing our own, very unique trails, but when you really look around and maybe look directly into the mirror, you will see that the tendency to become one of the crowd has become the norm. Just look in any fashion magazine - there are "newest trends" lists, "look for less" segments and wardrobe "must haves" in every one. Very few people are brave enough to wear something outside of the commercial box, and of those, only a handful have enough style and confidence to do it well. Whenever I meet one, I'm definitely impressed.
Iris Apfel is one of the more famous "rare birds" who knows herself well enough to stay far away from anything resembling a fashion trend. But what Bill Cunningham knew, is that there are also ordinary people walking the street every day, who refuse to submit to fashion rules and trends. It's not just the fashion fearless who have my respect, but those who refuse to let anyone tell them that their vision, dream, or heart's desire is out of line, or impossible to achieve. Those who step outside of the corral and start a herd of one are the people I most respect.
So it's only fitting that I introduce you to one of my favorite people, who is now my business partner at Dressing Vintage, my daughter, Katie. Before she could crawl, Katie was pulling all of the clothing out of her drawers and dressing herself in one of a kind ensembles. She is an accomplished artist and her incredible eye for fashion is an extension of that artistic talent. She sets trends long before they are trends and effortlessly looks more stylish than anyone in the room.
You will learn that Katie is passionate about ethical fashion and is committed to wearing clothing that honors that passion. She exclusively wears vintage, ethically produced, and/or second hand clothing and even chose to wear 2 different vintage wedding gowns on her wedding day!
I am so excited that Katie is now a part of this vintage adventure and you will be able to see her influence immediately as she is the truly talented part of this mother-daughter team! She designed our new website, styled and shot the Look book photos and created our new logo entirely on her own. My passion for fashion is really more about its history, provenance and cultural importance, but Katie has always been about style.
With his astute lens, Bill Cunningham could spot people who had the courage and confidence to abandon herd mentality and not only dress, but think for themselves. If he had seen Katie on the streets of New York, or spent even 5 minutes talking to her, he would have recognized that she was part of that endangered group of people he so appreciated...those that dare to be individuals. Welcome Katie!