The world's most beautiful women, including Karlie Kloss, Petra Nemcova and a heavily pregnant Adriana Lima, cover up for photojournalist Steve McCurry's Pirelli Calendar.
If you happen to be one of the select handful of people on the mailing list for Pirelli’s iconic annual calendar, prepare to be shocked.
Not, as you might usually be, by the sight of the world’s most beautiful women in an artistic state of undress, but by the complete absence of any nudity whatsoever.
The 2013 calendar has been shot by photojournalist Steve McCurry, best known for his powerful images of refugees in war-torn Afghanistan, in particular his celebrated 1985 National Geographic cover image ‘Afghan Girl’, so this was never going to be a re-run of Terry Richardson’s titilating 2010 assignment for the Italian motoring giants.
Instead McCurry and Pirelli’s casting agent of 17 years, Jennifer Starr, worked together to choose a group of models whose appeal went further than their looks.
Each of the girls was selected because of their extensive charity work, and as Starr told The Cut, they thought that nudity would “dilute the message” and compromise their work (Kyleigh Kuhn, for example, is a campaigner for women’s rights in Afghanistan).
Instead, McCurry took eleven girls — including Brazilians Isabeli Fontana, 62-year-old actress Sônia Braga, Marisa Monte and a heavily pregnant Adriana Lima (the first Pirelli girl to appear visibly pregnant), on location in Rio de Janeiro, with several suitcases of clothes, to capture their natural beauty against the colourful backdrop of the streets.
The other girls who made the cut this year are Elisa Sednaoui, Petra Nemcova, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, Summer Rayne Oakes, Liya Kebede and Karlie Kloss.
Alongside Terry Richardson, the Pirelli Calendar has, in recent years, been the preserve of the biggest names in fashion photography, from Mario Sorrenti and Karl Lagerfeld, to Patrick Demarchelier and Mert & Marcus, so McCurry’s appointment was clearly meant as a deliberate gear shift.
Could this signal the end of naked women in the Pirelli Calendar? Some certainly feel the usual format is a gratuitous hangover of a bygone era, but while McCurry’s images are strikingly beautiful and thought provoking, we can’t help but wonder how many disappointed faces there will be when the postman comes.
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