Behind the scenes of Tim Walker’s all-black Pirelli 2018 calendar shoot

Ru Paul, Puff Daddy and Naomi Campbell are among the stars of the 2018 Alice in Wonderland-themed Pirelli calendar, shot by Tim Walker.

The calendar will feature an all-black cast of 17 people from the world of fashion, music, cinema and “the underground universe,” according to Pirelli. Walker has shot for publications including Vogue’s British, Italian, and American editions, W Magazine and LOVE Magazine, and staged his first major exhibition at the Design Museum in 2008. He worked with set designer Shona Heath on the Pirelli shoot, which was styled by incoming British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful.

Pirelli 2018 calendar behind the scenes shot. Photography by Alessandro Scotti

The Pirelli calendar launched in 1964 as a canny marketing tool for the Italian tyre manufacturer.

In its earlier years the calendar largely featured scantily clad, stereotypically beautiful women; and was distributed first to key clients, before becoming “an exclusive publication destined for a select few recipients,” says Pirelli.

Duckit Thot, Pirelli 2018 calendar behind the scenes shot. Photography by Alessandro Scotti

The 1987 edition saw Terence Donovan take a similar approach to next year’s calendar, creating a shoot featuring only black models, including a 16-year-old Naomi Campbell. The following year a male model was featured for the first time.

More recent years have seen the brand use its now cult calendar to push more progressive and inclusive ideas (and, as we pointed out, as a canny PR stunt). Pirelli’s 2016 calendar was shot by Annie Leibovitz, and looked to present less conventional female beauty through featuring women including Serena Williams, Patti Smith and Yoko Ono. The 2017 calendar trod a similar path, using portraits of actresses including Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Lupita Nyong’o and Penelope Cruz  shot by Peter Lindberg, depicting the stars without the usual accoutrements of make-up, hair extensions, air brushing or push up bras.

The 2018 calendar will launch in November this year.