NEW YORK — The classic children's book, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," served as photographer Tim Walker's inspiration for the Pirelli 2018 Calendar, which was unveiled Nov. 10 at the Manhattan Center in New York.
The 45th edition of the calendar, which was shot in London in May, uses extravagant sets and romantic motifs used in Lewis Carroll's novel as well as from illustrations that John Tenniel used in the first edition of the novel of 1865.
Mr. Walker used a cast of 18 personalities, both established and upcoming, including musicians, actors, models, and political activists in the calendar.
The calendar features Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech; Ghanaian-British model and activist Adwoa Aboah; Senegalese-German model Alpha Dia; Beninese-American actor and model Djimon Hounsou; South Sudanese-Australian model Duckie Thot; Gambian activist Jaha Dukureh; British models Noami Campbell, Wilson Oryema and King Owusu; American rappers Lil Yachty and Sean "Diddy" Combs; Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o; American actor and singer/songwriter RuPaul; American actress Sasha Lane; American model Slick Woods; South African model Thando Hopa; American actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg; and British fashion stylist and designer Zoe Bedeaux.
They are involved in 28 shots consisting of 20 different sets for a unique Wonderland in Mr. Walker's 2018 Pirelli Calendar. They are part of an all-black cast for the second time in calendar history. The first occurred in 1987.
"Alice has been told so many times, and I think I wanted to go back to the genesis of the imagination behind Lewis Carroll so that you could tell it from the very beginning again," Mr. Walker said. "I wanted to find a different and original angle."
According to Pirelli, Mr. Walker collaborated with Shona Heath, one of Britain's leading creative directors and set designers, and fashion icon Edward Enninful, the stylist behind this year's costumes.
"It is very important that the story of Alice be told to a new generation," said Mr. Enninful, who recently became the first male and first black editor of British Vogue. "Her adventure in Wonderland resonates with the world we live in today; obstacles we have to overcome and the idea of celebrating difference.
"To see a black Alice today means children of all races can embrace the idea of diversity from a very young age and also acknowledge that beauty comes in all colors," he said. '"Culturally we are living in a diverse world. Projects like this remarkable Pirelli Calendar demonstrate that there is still hope in what sometimes feels like an increasingly cynical reality."
Pirelli has a dedicated website, www.pirellicalendar.com, that features photo shoots, the stories and personalities of the 2018 Pirelli Calendar.