Pirelli Calendar Credit: Allesandro Scotti

Djimon Hounsou. Lupita Nyong’o. Naomi Campbell. Sean “Diddy” Combs. What do these people have in common? These talented individuals are some of the faces that will be featured in the 2018 edition of the Pirelli Calendar.

The annual star-studded calendar took on an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme, with an unprecedented, yet profound twist to the story as it is often seen: The selection of an all black cast, the first since its 1987 issue, which featured a young Naomi Campbell. British Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful styled the celebrities; photographer Tim Walker was the mastermind behind the concept.

As a photographer, you don’t ever want to do what has been done before, so it was important for me to feel I was doing something completely different here,” Tim Walker said during an interview with the New York Times. “The story of Alice has been told so many times and in so many ways, but always with a white 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.

The Pirelli Calendar, first published in 1964 by the Pirelli tire company in Italy, has come a long way since its beginnings as an exhibition of female beauty. Over the years, it has grown to become more culturally aware. In 2016, for example, photographer Annie Leibovitz, strayed away from the normal focus on women’s physical attributes, and instead chose to focus on their many accomplishments. In the 2017 edition, photographer Peter Lindbergh explored beauty “not manipulated by commercial interests” by capturing actresses like Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman, fully clothed with no makeup.

Lupita Nyong’o as Dormouse Credit: Allesandro Scotti

And of course, next year’s issue displays the essence of black beauty via its various forms with features from albino model Thando Hopa as the Princess of Hearts, drag queen Ru Paul as the Queen of Hearts, and Whoopi Goldberg as the Royal Duchess to name a few.

Inclusivity is more part of the conversation than it has ever been before, but it goes far beyond black and white,” Edward Enninful said. “It is about all creeds, all colors, all sizes and people just living their truths.

Diddy and Naomi Campbell Behind the Scenes Credit: Allesandro Scotti

Diddy, who is known for his contributions to the music industry, also spoke on his reasons for participating in a project that relays important social messages.

I moved mountains to be a part of this,” he told the New York Times. “It is a chance to push social consciousness and break down barriers. For so many years, something like this would not have happened in the fashion world, so it feels like being part of history and playing an active role. I want to lead by example.

The Pirennial Calendar is slated to release in November. It is not sold to the public and is only accessible to celebrities, media professionals, insiders and Pirelli’s most valuable clients and distributors.

View more pictures from the shoot below!

Written By: Sweenie Nicole

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