The 2013 Pirelli calendar, an annual tradition from the Italian tire company, is vastly different than previous years' editions, showcasing its first ever pregnant model amongst subjects who, for the first time in many years, are not nude.
Shot by photojournalist Steve McCurry, the 2013 calendar is completely absent of nudity -- despite the calendar's notoriety for featuring artistic of famous women in the buff -- and depicts a pregnant Adriana Lima.
Lima, 31, was photographed for the calendar five months pregnant, wearing a black tank top and low-slung black skirt exposing her baby bump. According to Time magazine, the Victoria's Secret model is the first model to pose pregnant for the Pirelli calendar in its nearly 50 years existence. The other 11 models in the calendar include Petra Nemcova, Kyleigh Kuhn, Summer Rayne Oakes, Isabeli Fontana, Sônia Braga, Elisa Sednaoui, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, Liya Kebede, Karlie Kloss and Marisa Monte.
The Italian tire company has published the calendar annually since 1964 through its UK subsidiary as a holiday gift to corporate clients and celebrities. Big name models, actresses and socialites from Jennifer Lopez to Kate Moss to Sophia Loren to Gisele have posed for the Pirelli calendar, typically in the buff. But 2013 took a new turn highlighting philanthropy rather than nudity.
According to New York Magazine's The Cut, the Pirelli casting agent of 17 years, Jennifer Starr, opted to cover up the women selected to highlight their extensive charity work rather than their looks. Starr said having the subjects nude would "dilute the message" of this year's calendar theme of charity.
“When I told the models there would be no nudity, some of them were disappointed,” Starr said.
One of the models was Petra Nemcova who told The Cut she "found out only a week before that it wasn’t nude."
“I’d been, like, working out, getting ready," she said, "and I was like, 'Oh, I have to wear these?'”
Starr further explained that some of the women, all of which were selected for their philanthropic contributions, would feel uncomfortable posing nude due to the nature of their contributions, like Kuhn who was selected for her women's rights campaign in Afghanistan.
The photos were reviewed a few weeks ago in Long Island City after being shot in Rio de Janeiro. McCurry, best known for his 1985 National Geographic cover "Afghan Girl" showing refugees in Afghanistan amidst war, was also a choice straying from the norm for the Pirelli calendar. Normally, fashion photographers like Terry Richardson, Patrick Demarchelier and the like are chosen to shoot the annual edition. But McCurry was comfortable enough to shoot the fashion spreads, according to the famed photographer.
“There was certainly a fashion component, but there’s also a portrait and location component, which is something I have a lot of experience with,” McCurry told The Cut. “With portraiture, you’re trying to accomplish a sense of beauty, poetry, a sense of place, composition, light, and so on. So really, these photographs are not so dramatically different from a portrait of anybody.”
The Telegraph pointed out that the "deliberate gear shift" by using McCurry could even hint at "the end of the naked women" in the Pirelli calendar, predicting many recipients will have "disappointed faces" when opening the annual calendar this year.