The 2018 Pirelli calendar is out and this year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland. The unique aspect of this year’s photo shoot is that it took a diversity approach casting an all-black cast featuring Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, South African lawyer Thando Hopa, Whoopi Goldberg, Sudanese-Australian model Duckie Thot, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, among others. The cast was transformed into Lewis Carroll’s fantastical characters by Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s new editor-in-chief, and shot by fashion photographer Tim Walker.
In the calendar, gorgeous Duckie Thot is cast as Alice. The model expressed her joy at being given this unique opportunity stating there has never been a better time to be a black woman since they are now being recognized and given the opportunity to do more. Whoopi Goldberg is cast as the Royal Duchess while Thando Hopa takes on the role of the Princess of Hearts. Naomi Campbell and Diddy play the roles of the Royal Beheaders, and Slick Woods suits up as the Mad Hatter. Adwoa Aboah makes an appearance as Tweedledee. Pop culture icon RuPaul is also featured on the calendar in ultra-glam fashion, portraying the Queen of Hearts.
An Opportunity to Celebrate Diversity
Thando Hopa, an albino, stated that she hoped her appearance on the calendar would send a message of dreams and possibilities to people considered different. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who first appeared on the calendar in 1987 at the age of 17, shared her gratitude for the opportunity of an all-black shoot on such a platform. She iterated that she hoped this would not be a one-off occurrence; instead, she hopes there will be more occasions where black girls are given the opportunity to express their diversity. Whoopi Goldberg expressed her joy on working with all shades of brown on such a project which met the hopes of little girls like her who always look forward to seeing people who look like them on calendars.
About the Pirelli Calendar
Created by the Italian tire company, the Pirelli calendar was first created in the 1960s. Since then, the calendar, which was originally created to serve as a trade gift, has grown in popularity. It has in the past showcased women in a salacious manner and taken a “Eurocentric and hetero-normative” approach to beauty standards, but this year decided to focus on diversity. The unapologetically black calendar for 2018 has resonated with many who are praising Pirelli for promoting black beauty. Last year, the calendar was composed of unretouched celebrity pictures.