I was sort of, kind of, not really, but maybe trying to get Bill Cunningham’s attention.
I spotted him outside Lincoln Center, the main site for New York Fashion Week. Bill Cunningham: the famed New York Times photographer, known across the world of fashion for his acute eye to street style and budding trends.
Maybe just this once he would get in front of a video camera to just say hello? Maybe he would talk to a reporter a little bit more about his iconic blue jacket that makes even the most elite of fashionistas throw themselves in front of his lens like pupils vying for a teacher’s attention?
“Mr. Cunningham, how are the shows today? Have you seen anything interesting?”
No response. He was in the zone.
Let’s be clear: I’m not a fashion reporter by any means. I covered London Fashion Week shows for The Associated Press in 2011, but aside from that my interaction with the fashion community has been limited. So this little scene begs the question: Why in the world was a “hard news” guy at Fashion Week?
The truth is that I’ve always had an interest in fashion, art, music and the like. So when NYFW rolled around this year, I got to thinking about ways that Thunderdome could chip in.
We’re not a fashion publication, and we certainly don’t have a huge stake in the fashion industry in terms of the scope of our coverage. But we are in New York… we could do something. We serve local newsrooms, each with a specific coverage identity, each with a community that has its own character. What could make those local communities care about fashion on a global scale?
While The Denver Post’s Suzanne Brown filed great dispatches from inside the shows at Fashion Week, I worked with our newest video producer, Mimi Schiffman, to make the concept of global fashion interesting to more local audiences. So we hit the sidewalks of NYFW and asked attendees a simple question: “How does your hometown influence your style?”
The answers we got ranged from a Korean fashion editor telling us that puffy jackets in Chicago, where she lived at one point, made her cringe. Another attendee, a young man from Denver, accentuated what he called “presidential fashion” — rebelling from the mountain hiking-centric style of his fellow Coloradans.
For me, working with Mimi was a perfect representation of how though we work in various roles at Thunderdome, the possibility for collaboration and stepping out of the day-to-day is a key part of our mission and goals.
And I got a few compliments on a patterned blue shirt I wore that day with matching suede shoes, so there’s that.
The shoes did not do well in the snow.
Check out the video Aaron and Mimi produced below.