(March 13, 1929-June 25, 2016)
Born in Boston, Massachusetts
Hat designer (1950-62)
Fashion journalist for Women’s Wear Daily and the Chicago Tribune
Photographer for the New York Times
Had two weekly features, ‘Evening Hours’ and ‘On the Street’
Known for his photos of fashion on the streets of New York City
Named Outstanding Photographer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (1983)
Named an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters (2008)
Why he might be annoying
He said his interest in fashion began as a child in church: ‘I could never concentrate on Sunday services because I’d be concentrating on women’s hats.’
He had a scholarship to Harvard, but dropped out after a couple of months.
When he made hats, he called himself ‘William J.,’ dropping his last name because ‘my family would have been too embarrassed.’
As for his personal style, he wore the same blue jacket and black sneakers just about everywhere he went.
He refused to own a cellphone, computer or television.
Why he might not be annoying
When he was a hat designer, his clients included Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy.
As a journalist, he introduced Americans to the work of Jean Paul Gaultier.
He was named a Living Landmark by New York City (2009)
Manhattanites who recognized him reported that he was invariable cheerful and polite.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that he covered ‘high society grand dames and downtown punks with equal verve.’
Credit: C. Fishel
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In 2016, Out of 66 Votes: 65.15% Annoying
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