Pirelli celebrates black beauty with the 2018 edition of its famous calendar. While this is not the first time the world-known brand decides to showcase black talent, the fact that this illustrious photography calendar giant did it still caused a stir. The next year edition of the iconic publication features an all Star Black cast, from top models like Naomi Campbell to pop stars like Sean Combs, RuPaul, and Hollywood leading names as Whoopi Goldberg and Lupita Nyong’o.

All-star black cast

Based on John Tenniel’s Alice In Wonderland illustrations, the calendar features innovative remakes from the famed children’s classic.

Among the characters to look out for, there's the Royal Beheader, modeled by Naomi Campbell, with Sean “Puffy” aka P. Diddy playing Campbell’s trusty sidekick. Whoopi Goldberg, the renowned actress and host of the talk show TheView, takes on a more regal role as she is portrayed as The Royal Duchess. Other celebrities starring in the calendar are RuPaul, Thando Hopa, Slick Woods, feminist model Adwoa Aboahand more (not necessarily known to the vast majority).

Interviewed in regard by the British newspaper The Independent, South African model Thando Hopa stated that the depiction of black faces in children’s classic is a major step up in the fashion industry, an industry that seems not to be as inclusive with people of color as it is with other races. “This is an important step in culture development to push images that aren’t generic, that doesn't conform to stereotypes,” said the albino model, who is also an advocate for diversity, who features in the calendar as The Princess of Hearts.

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The musicians, performers, and models in next year’s calendar were all styled by Edward Enniful, who was recently appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue and was also the first person of color to occupy a position of such caliber. Celebrated photographer Tim Walker is the man behind the lenses as he captures one of Pirelli’s most iconic works since its launch in 1964.

For Campbell, however, it is not the first time featuring as a person of color on the calendar. When she was just a 16-years-old she appeared in the 1987 edition, which also featured an all-black cast.

Pirelli's calendar political value

The launch of next year’s calendar will also coincide with the 10th anniversary of Italian Vogue’s all black issue, which also featured Campbell alongside other iconic black models and icons like Alek Wek, Liya Kebede, Tyra Banks and Iman.

Over the years, Pirelli has become well-known for working with top photographers, using its calendars to make powerful statements on social matters affecting the world as we know and see it.

In the 2017 issue, for instance, the calendar used models with natural makeup to promote cleanliness and embracing the natural self. The year before, in 2016, it celebrated the female body in all its forms by showcasing different female body types, often not well represented in the fashion industry.

With the calendar making so many valid points through photography as a social commentator, we cannot wait to see who they will feature and what message they will seek to convey in their 2019 edition.