Known for its sexy pictures of nearly (or totally) nude models posing for famous photographers, the 2013 Pirelli calendar -- which comes out on Nov. 28 -- features something never seen before: A pregnant supermodel, Adriana Lima, and other beautiful people who are actually wearing clothes.
The Pirelli calendar is given out to the Italian tire company's VIPs and a handful of celebrities each year; it has been a collector's item since 1963, when the most-risque shot by Robert Freeman featured a model with her face turned toward the sun and her arms crossed over her bare chest. In 2000, Annie Leibovitz focused on a single nude woman lounging on a bed, and in the 2012 calendar, all 12 models and celebrities photographed by Mario Sorrenti were completely naked. But for the latest version, photojournalist Steve McCurry of National Geographic fame (he's the one behind the iconic "Afghan Girl" photo), decided on a different approach. He set the photo shoot in Rio -- and took the focus off of the models' bodies.
"You can photograph nudes anywhere," McCurry said during a press conference in Rio on Tuesday. "But these models are clothed, and each of them has her own charity. They are purposeful and idealistic people. So I wanted to photograph them in a special place, and Rio was perfect for this."
The famous models he's featured have something in common besides breathtaking beauty. McCurry said that he chose them because of their commitment to charities and worthy causes.
"I thought 'Why don't we find models who aren't only gorgeous and beautiful but are also doing good things?'" McCurrysaid at the press conference.
They include Petra Nemcova, the Czech model who founded the Happy Hearts Fund to help children hit by natural disasters, American environmental crusader Summer Rayne Oakes, Brazilian actress and child rights advocate Sonia Braga, and American model Kyleigh Kuhn, who also works to build playgrounds and schools in Afghanistan.
McCurry's Pirelli calendar also features a few other firsts: Supermodel Adriana Lima is visibly and gorgeously pregnant, pictures of supermodels alternate with images of everyday people living everyday lives, and a couple of pictures have no people in them at all.
His photos of body-twisting Capoeira masters in motion and an unnamed beauty selling fruit at the local street market are in stark contrast to both the studied glamor of the supermodels and the crumbling, grafitti-filled artwork of the streets.
"I would say I am a street photographer doing 'found situations'," McCurry said. "I tried to portray Brazil, its landscape, its economy and its culture, along with the human element."