In Memoriam: A Few Famous Names We'll Miss the Most

In Memoriam: A Few Famous Names We'll Miss the Most

Kenya Foy
Dec 30, 2016
(Image credit: Dan Holm/Shutterstock)

With only a one day left in the year, we can say without a doubt that we're more than eager for 2016 to quietly bow out and exit stage left. If we based our expectations for this year off of Pantone announcing Rose Quartz and Serenity as 2016's colors of the year, we would've been wrong in anticipating 12 months of pastel-inspired peace.

That said, we can't bid this year a final unceremonious farewell without taking time out to acknowledge some of the outstanding people from the design and pop culture worlds who will be sorely missed as we make our way into a new year.

Bill Cunningham

After making a personal art form of the passion he injected into snapping street style shots of fashion trends in New York City, the renowned New York Times photographer passed away in June at age 87.

(Image credit: The Guardian)

Zaha Hadid

Her passing in March left a gaping hole in the heart of the design community, but the Queen of the Curve's international architectural legacy ensures that her impact won't soon be forgotten.

Bing Thom

The Hong Kong-born Canadian architect passed away in October. Among his most notable design contributions is Washington, D.C.'s Mead Center for American Theater.

(Image credit: Knoll)

Jens Risom

Right up until his death at the age of 100, Risom was still an active designer who will forever be known for his outstanding midcentury modern design aesthetic.

Marc Riboud

The French photojournalist known for capturing one of the most renowned anti-war images, "The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet," passed away in Paris in August at the age of 93.

(Image credit: a katz/Shutterstock)

David Bowie

The rock star extraordinaire and lover of Memphis Design passed away two days after his 69th birthday in January after a brief bout with liver cancer. We mourned with the world at the memorial outside his SoHo loft, which is across the street from Apartment Therapy HQ.

Eric Medalle

The creative design director of Pokémon passed away at age 42 in March in a storm-related accident in Seattle.

(Image credit: Steve Quinlan/Shutterstock)


The Purple One's musical career spanned decades, but his artistry was also just as influential on fashion and design. After his sudden passing at the age 57 in April, Prince brother-in-law vowed to turn the singer's famous Paisley Park home and recording studio into a museum to honor his memory.

Franca Sozzani

The photography and contemporary art lover who was best known for her longstanding role as editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue passed away at the age of 66.

(Image credit: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock)

Carrie Fisher

Known for her mental health advocacy and obviously her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher died at the age of 60 after suffering from a massive heart attack during a flight. The death of her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, was a day later.

Sonya Rykiel

Known as the "Queen of Knitwear," the famed French designer was influential in modernizing womenswear, encouraging "women to be eccentric, seductive, mysterious, and to create their own style." She was 86 years old when she passed in August after battling Parkinson's disease.

(Image credit: Slavko Sereda/Shutterstock)

George Michael

On Christmas Day, the world-renowned singer died of heart failure at 53, leaving his partner, fans across the globe and fellow celebrities to mourn the loss of a music legend.

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