STYLE & BEAUTY
07/20/2017 10:55 am ET

The 2018 Pirelli Calendar Is A True 'Wonderland' Of Black Beauty

It's got Ru Paul as the Queen of Hearts. 'Nuff said.

We’re mad for the 2018 Pirelli calendar. 

The annual star-studded shoot features models, actresses and public figures, as per usual. But this year it boasts far more color than we’ve seen in recent iterations ― both on set and, most notably, in its entirely black cast

Inspired by “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the shoot was styled by British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, the first black man to helm a mainstream women’s fashion magazine. Its stars include Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean “Diddy” Combs and our personal favorite Ru Paul, who portrays the Queen of Hearts. 

RU. 
Tim Walker
RU. 

The calendar is a powerful but whimsical departure from the iconic 2017 shoot, which featured gorgeous, unretouched images of mostly white celebrities. The choice of an all-black “Alice” has been welcomed by audiences and the stars themselves. 

“It is a chance to push social consciousness and break down barriers,” Combs told the New York Times. “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.” 

Pirelli has featured an entirely black cast of calendar models before, in 1987, when a very young Campbell starred topless. That Enninful styled the new shoot only adds more punch to its powerful messaging. 

Iconic. 
Tim Walker
Iconic. 

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

Preach. Check out a behind-the-scenes look at the calendar, which was conceived of and shot by photographer Tim Walker and is slated for release in November. 

  • Thando Hopa as the Princess of Hearts
    Tim Walker
    Thando Hopa as the Princess of Hearts
  • Alpha Dia as the Five-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener and King Owusu as the Two-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener.
    Tim Walker
    Alpha Dia as the Five-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener and King Owusu as the Two-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener.
  • Slick Woods as the Madhatter. 
    Tim Walker
    Slick Woods as the Madhatter. 
  • Lupita Nyong'o as the Dormouse.
    Tim Walker
    Lupita Nyong'o as the Dormouse.
  • Djimon Hounsou as the King of Hearts. 
    Tim Walker
    Djimon Hounsou as the King of Hearts. 
  • Sasha Lane as the Mad March Hare and Lupita Nyong'o as the Dormouse.
    Tim Walker
    Sasha Lane as the Mad March Hare and Lupita Nyong'o as the Dormouse.
  • Adwoa Aboah as Tweedledee.
    Tim Walker
    Adwoa Aboah as Tweedledee.
  • Behind the scenes. 
    Tim Walker
    Behind the scenes. 
  • Wonderful wonderland. 
    Tim Walker
    Wonderful wonderland. 
  • Ru Paul and Djimon Hounsou.
    Tim Walker
    Ru Paul and Djimon Hounsou.
  • Duckie Thot as Alice. 
    Tim Walker
    Duckie Thot as Alice. 
  • Whoopi Goldberg as the Royal Duchess, Thando Hopa as the Princess of Hearts.
    Tim Walker
    Whoopi Goldberg as the Royal Duchess, Thando Hopa as the Princess of Hearts.
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