This year’s Pirelli calendar, shot Tim Walker. features an all-back cast of Alice in Wonderland, styled by newly crowned editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful with Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Lil Yachty, Lupita Nyong’o, Sean Combs and RuPaul as the various characters.
Over the weekend, the star-studded cast shared just how much it meant to them to participate in the creative re-interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved fantasy at a press conference in New York.
“Most of the time, people don’t realize that people of color come in all colors: light, dark, kinda middle, kinda muddy, bright,” said Whoopi Goldberg in a video message shared with the audience. “So to see it all arrayed, [this project] surpassed all that: it became about Alice in Wonderland.”
“[Images like this] should’ve been shown of [black people] a long time ago,” Combs said during an onstage conversation with Tim Blanks at the press conference. “It’s just beautiful that you’re starting to see images like that of us now. I think Pirelli was smart enough to see the future. This is the future: black excellence.”
“This is an important time,” said RuPaul. “When a butterfly transforms into its beautiful self from a caterpillar, the middle part — the transformation part — is very violent. It’s very confusing. That’s what we’re witnessing on our planet right now. So this conversation, this calendar, is a landmark.”
RuPaul for the 2018 Pirelli Calendar. Photo: Tim Walker/Pirelli