The Pirelli 2018 calendar shot by iconic photographer Tim Walker made its New York City debut November 10th, featuring an amazing cast of all-black talent re-telling the classic, Alice In Wonderland.
Australian model Duckie Thot stars as Alice in the surreal take on the fantastic tale by Lewis Carol. Fellow models Slick Woods, Adut Akech and Alpha Dia also transform into timeless characters like the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs and supermodel Naomi Campbell also appear as The Royal Beheaders, while Djimon Hounsou and RuPaul portray the King and Queen of Hearts.
During the star-studded press conference, EBONY spoke with several members of the talented cast, including Mr. Combs, who believes this concept is long overdue.
“If you ask me, the calendar is a little late, but somehow it’s still right on time. What you’re seeing in these images is the future and the past. This is our erased past. We were born kings and queens, these images of us should have been shown a long time ago. It’s just beautiful to see images like that of us. I think Pirelli and Edward were smart enough to see the future, and the future is black excellence. ”
The ‘Edward’ Combs is praising is none other than Edward Enninful, the first Black Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, who also happened to style the elaborate shoot.
A post shared by Edward Enninful, OBE (@edward_enninful) on
When asked about working with the fashion icon, both Queen Ru and Campbell spoke of the amazing experience.
“I’ve been working with Edward for over 25 years,” shared Campbell. “He’s a perfectionist, and shooting this calendar was just another great experience for me. He knows what he’s talking about and is like a brother to me. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy working with Edward.”
Ru was sure to note that Enninful’s rise to dominance within the fashion industry is yet another sign that times are changing for the better while showing love to EBONY for being one of the first publications to fully capture the beauty of Black life.
“Thank God EBONY Magazine is still around…in fact, EBONY is where a lot of us were able to see these images for the first time. Now, it’s the world!”
“Darkness and Blackness has been seen as forbidden or some kind of mystery that we can’t understand. Now, we’re shedding light on that and seeing that it’s nothing to be afraid of, it is something to embrace. We are shedding light on all of your fears.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.