THE BEAT GOES ON: “I have to stay off the bike until the stitches heal,” said Bill Cunningham, The New York Times photographer who suffered a heart attack last week and had an emergency valve procedure. Asked if he’ll start taking a cab or car service, he said, “I’ll walk, my dear.”

Cunningham said he expects to return to work in a week or so. Even as he was being rushed to the hospital the day after suffering the heart attack, he said, “I grabbed the stuff [contact sheet] and did it in bed. You got a blank page, and you got to fill it.”

This story first appeared in the December 10, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Times has several of Cunningham’s “On the Street” stories in inventory, which will run over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the photographer has had to curtail his party coverage for now. “My doctor said I could do stuff as long as it doesn’t cause a lot of tension.” Will he get back on his bike one day? “I think the bike is good for you,” he said.

Last Tuesday night, Cunningham rode his bike home from a party at Chelsea Piers. “It was really cold and windy. Evidently, it was too much,” he said. He had a heart attack while sleeping that night, took some aspirin, and called his doctor the next day, at which time he was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. He had surgery Thursday evening.

But don’t even think about sending Cunningham a get-well gift.

“I send everything back that comes to the door. A week ago today, I was out returning [holiday] gifts. It drives me up a wall. People mean well, but I like to keep independent. I don’t accept anything. I send it back.”

— L.L.

CH-CH-CHANGES: In a move that came as no surprise to anyone in the industry, David Ignatius informed his staff Monday that he would be leaving The International Herald Tribune as executive editor next year and returning to The Washington Post, where he will continue as a columnist.

Ignatius was a veteran of The Post, and many in the industry felt that he would not go to work for The New York Times, particularly since The Post’s exit from the IHT was less than amicable. Sources there charged that the Times muscled them out of the venture in order to lay the ground for The IHT to become The International New York Times. A source at The Post also said that Ignatius might be helping Donald Graham, its publisher, look at new foreign possibilities for The Post. With his resignation, Walter Wells, The IHT’s former managing editor, will take over as consulting editor during the transition in ownership and will become acting managing editor upon completion of the sale. The role of executive editor is still open, although there has been some speculation at The Post that the short list may include Andy Rosenthal, an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, (and son of Abe Rosenthal), and Warren Hoge, The Times’ London bureau chief. Ignatius, however, dismissed this as “rampant speculation.”

– Jacob Bernstein

TERRY’S LIST: Everyone loves a list, and that includes the editors of i-D who have listed more than 150 of “the world’s most important designers.”

Editor-in-chief Terry Jones and Avril Mair, editor, will unveil Fashion Now — essentially a guidebook to contemporary fashion — on Jan. 15 at bookstores worldwide. The list includes the usual suspects — Sonia Rykiel, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren — and younger designers including Haider Ackermann. “This is a major piece of work for us. It is a representation of what is current, a snapshot of now,” said Jones. i-D asked each designer the same basic questions that will be accompanied by a profile printed in three different languages. All of the images are from the i-D archive and shot by photographers such as Paolo Roversi and David La Chapelle.

— Ellen Burney

URBAN FLAVOR: Honey magazine, owned by Vanguarde Media, and the Absolut Spirits Co. will premiere Absolut Lifestyle in New York Feb. 12-14 during fall fashion week. Ten designers will individually show at Gotham Hall at 1356 Broadway in New York. Each of the featured urbanwear and mainstream designers — which are currently being determined — will also create an exclusive piece commissioned for the Absolut Lifestyle Collection, which may go on tour. Honey will also custom publish a guide to the world of city style, to be distributed during the event.

— L.L.

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