The Pirelli Calendar has a history of casting talented photographers to capture beautiful, famous people. And while there have been plenty of erotic images captured over the years, it’s grown to be about far more than boobs, butts and the odd Pirelli racing tire. This year the brand has selected a star-studded, all black cast, including RuPaul, Naomi Campbell, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong’o and more.
In this delightfully weird Alice in Wonderland themed edition, Pirelli is looking beyond those who are known for their beauty or talent on screen, and bringing real (influential) people like Jaha Dukureh, a women’s rights activist, into the story.
Behind the lens is British fashion photographer Tim Walker, who shoots regularly for British Vogue, W and Love, and, it’s worth mentioning, is a white man. Is it disappointing that Pirelli couldn’t find a black photographer to complete the cast? A little, but when you see the results or hear from the stars involved, you get the sense that Tim did the project justice.
“[Images like this] should’ve been shown of [black people] a long time ago,” said Combs at a recent press conference. “It’s just beautiful that you’re starting to see images like that of us now. I think Pirelli was smart enough to see the future. This is the future: black excellence.”
Here’s some behind the scenes footage from the making of this year’s calendar:
The last time the Pirelli Calendar featured an all-black list of subjects was 1987. A topless, teenage Naomi Campbell appeared in that issue too. This edition, however, she’s playing the Royal Beheader with Diddy as her accomplice. Off with their heads!