Whoever thinks car tires and high fashion don’t have anything in common clearly doesn't know much about the Pirelli calendar. In the 42 years since its inception, the Italian tire company’s marketing tool goes far beyond its time-keeping duties — its a fusion of provocative imagery from major photographers, top models, and yes, plenty of sex appeal. (Taking a cue from Pirelli’s key material, the models are all decked out in some seriously NSFW rubber outfits.)
We've heard it casually referred to as the biggest accolade a fashion model can achieve in her career, which explains the A+ roster of women who've graced the pages. In the past, “The Cal” has won a reputation of celebrating the most well known faces around, like Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum. But this year, Pirelli is changing its script by celebrating not only runway up-and-comers like Gigi Hadid, but also by championing women of all sizes.
Shot by Steven Meisel (also a founder of the calendar) and styled by Carine Roitfeld, 2015’s group of “Calendar Girls” includes Vogue Italia favorite Candice Huffine, who at size 16, is the first plus-size model in Pirelli’s history. Obviously, this is a major deal — but, just like Calvin Klein’s recent choice to quietly ignore the industry-imposed label, Pirelli is opting to keep the focus on the model’s beauty, instead.
According to Meisel, the casting reflects a larger goal of this year’s shoot, which was to provide a more accurate representation of fashion today. “They represent the stereotypes that the fashion and star system impose upon us right now,” he said in a press release. “I didn’t want to make a conceptual calendar, or link it to some particular location, but rather to create 12 posters in which women, in all their sensuality, are the absolute protagonists of 12 very different images.”
Although Instagram It Girls like Hadid, supers like Adriana Lima, and Huffine may be different, they're all gorgeous, and we applaud Pirelli for looking beyond their clothing sizes to see that. After all, this calendar is all about celebrating women.