Scott Schuman Has Some Thoughts About Bill Cunningham

Whether he's talking about how much money his blog makes, criticizing Tavi's success, or wondering (aloud) why anyone would work in print, Scott Schuman is not exactly known for his discretion or tact. Recently, Schuman turned this famous, erm, candor, on one of the fashion industry's most beloved characters: Bill Cunningham.
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Hayley Phelan
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Whether he's talking about how much money his blog makes, criticizing Tavi's success, or wondering (aloud) why anyone would work in print, Scott Schuman is not exactly known for his discretion or tact. Recently, Schuman turned this famous, erm, candor, on one of the fashion industry's most beloved characters: Bill Cunningham.
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Whether he's talking about how much money his blog makes, criticizing Tavi's success, or wondering (aloud) why anyone would work in print, Scott Schuman is not exactly known for his discretion or tact. Recently, Schuman turned this famous, erm, candor, on one of the fashion industry's most beloved characters: Bill Cunningham.

Speaking to WWD in Johannesburg (where he was the headline guest of African Fashion International), Schuman had a lot to say about Cunningham--and none of it was particularly flattering.

"You know, I hate to say it, I’m sure everyone thinks he’s a lovable guy, and I’m sure he is," Schuman began. "We’ve never had a conversation. The only conversation we’ve ever had is when I’m trying to shoot someone and he says, ‘Hey, get out.’"

Schuman insisted that Cunningham, who is often described as the father of street style photography, hasn't really had an influence on his work.

"The only influence he’s had on me is that I want to be doing that when I’m 80. That’s the only thing. I want to be on the bike, I want to be doing that at 80."

And actually, he doesn't think Cunningham's photographs are all that great to begin with.

"His photographs, I think they’re nice, they’re just a totally different style from me. I don’t think they’re bad, really just a different style. He’s really reportage, shoot, snap, he’s just going, going, going."

Schuman also said that he finds the "whole myth about [Cunningham]...frustrating." That being said, he still thinks he should do a book.

"You know [Cunningham] won’t do a book, which is fine if you don’t want to do a book, but you know, if you’re not going to do a book, you can pull a hundred different images of your career.…Then when he’s gone, which I hope will be a long time from now, then those stories are gone. I mean, you know you have a certain responsibility if you’ve been there for a really important period, for 40 years, and you haven’t written very much on all that, then you have, maybe not a responsibility, but it would just be very nice...We’ll lose those stories because he just doesn’t want to do it."

We'd love for Cunningham to do a book just as much as the next person--we're just not sure it's up to Schuman to decide.