In the past, Pirelli’s calendars were full of stereotypical beautiful women. Just for the records, the 2015’s calendar featured Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid covered in latex as well as topless Joan Smalls. A couple years ago they changed their practice. For the 2016 edition, Pirelli finally broke many stereotypes. For the first time ever they hired a woman to photograph the models aside from the husband-and-wife duo Inez and Vinoodh in 2007. Annie Leibovitz was the first woman in 25 years to have photographed for the calendar. She ditched Pirelli’s old practice to cast only attractive women. Instead, Annie cast women who achieved great things throughout their career. She included renewed women from different fields such as comedy, sports, art, and philanthropy. Additionally, the 2017 calendar showed Hollywood actresses without any makeup and retouching.
The tradition of breaking stereotypes continues this year as well. For the 2018 calendar, Pirelli cast all-black models to celebrate inclusivity. The edition is styled by Edward Enninful and lensed by Tim Walker. Edward Enninful is going to be the first ever black editor for British Vogue as well as the first male editor in the 100-year history of Vogue.
The theme of the 2018 Pirelli calendar is Alice in Wonderland. The shot by Tim Walker it’s described as capturing “the surreal world of dreams”. Pirelli gave a complete freedom to the photographer for this project. Tim Walker wanted to tell a completely different story of Alice. To this date, Alice has always been white as well as the rest of the cast.
“There has never been a black Alice, so I wanted to push how fictional fantasy figures can be represented and explore evolving ideas of beauty,” Tim explained the story behind the idea for the all-black cast.
The cast is truly impressive and includes the model turned feminist Adwoa Aboah, Slick Woods, Lupita Nyong’o, albino lawyer and model Thando Hopa, Whoopi Goldberg, Sasha Lane, Lil Yachty and more. Naomi Campbell who was part of the 1987 all-black Pirelli calendar is in the role of the Royal Beheader while the rapper Puff Daddy is her assistant. The 2018 calendar also includes the transgender drag icon RuPaul as the Queen of Hearts. The Australian model Duckie Thot channels the first ever black Alice.
The 2018 Pirelli calendar is unique and stereotype-breaking in many ways. The pictures tell an old fairy tale in a completely new way. The calendar is about to send a message that beauty shouldn’t be generalized and defined by gender or color.
Photo Courtesy of Pirelli