Publicists, beware! A man pretending to be the New York Times’ venerable party photographer, Bill Cunningham, is on the loose. “He’ll call and say he’s Bill Cunningham and he wants to come to your event,” says a publicist whose fashion company was duped by the poseur. “He says if he can’t make it, then this weird guy will come to the event, wearing handmade press credentials and a baseball hat, without a camera.” The scam is well known at the Times. “It’s usually for odd events,” says style editor Trip Gabriel. “I remember someone calling about the Howard Stern Film Festival—not in a million years would Bill be going there!” Reached on his cell phone, the faux Cunningham grew wary when asked who he was: “This is Bill’s cell phone, but it’s, um, Chris Callahan—I work with Bill.” He then hung up. The real Bill Cunningham, who doesn’t have a cell phone, couldn’t be reached for comment.
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