There’s been a giant Bill Cunningham-shaped hole in the world of American fashion ever since the legendary photographer died in 2016 at age 87. Known for having a careful eye for the personal, individual flairs that make fashion fun, Cunningham was also notoriously private, save for a 2010 documentary that gave the already popular New York Times columnist an even larger legion of fans.
Now, two years after his death, a deeper look at his life will be released to the world. The Times reports that Cunningham left behind an unpublished memoir manuscript, chronicling his childhood through his early years as a journalist. Called Fashion Climbing, the book was found after his death in a completed state. Penguin editor Christopher Richards won the book at an auction and will publish it this fall along with a preface by New Yorker writer Hilton Als. Indeed, Fashion Climbing may prove to be the most anticipated memoir of the year, not only for the secrecy that long shrouded it but also for its promise to shed light on a private person who had the uncanny ability to really see and appreciate the unique self-expression of others. Cunningham brought a lot of joy to his readers, fashionistas and Crocs-wearers alike. This memoir is a last, unexpected gift to them.