The theme of the 49th Annual Pirelli Calendar, dreamed up by photographer Emma Summerton, is a magical-realist depiction of the empowered muse. With set design by Viki Rutsch and casting by Piergiorgio Del Moro, the surreal, dreamy images shine a light on the models’ real-life passions.
Each of the 14 models photographed for the calendar became a character based on their individual personalities and pursuits: Guinevere Van Seenus, who recently launched her own photography practice, became ‘The Photographer,’ Emily Ratajkowski, who is a published author, became ‘The Writer,’ and Ashley Graham, who is a notable figurehead of the body positivity movement, became ‘The Activist.’ Bella Hadid became ‘The Sprite’, Precious Lee ‘The Storyteller,’ Karlie Kloss ‘The Tech Savant,’ Cara Delevingne ‘The Performer,’ Lauren Wasser ‘The Athlete,’ Kaya Wilkins ‘The Musician,’ Sasha Pivovarova ‘The Painter,’ Adut Akech ‘The Dream Catcher,’ Adwoa Aboah ‘The Queen,’ Lila Moss ‘The Seer,’ and He Cong ‘The Sage.’
Because all of the models were encouraged to celebrate their personal talents, the energy on set felt especially comfortable and empowering. Instead of the traditional, more objectified concept of the muse, Summerton leaned into an ancient mythological definition she discovered in Greece: the muse themselves as the artist, not just the inspiration.
Viki Rutsch and Piergiorgio Del Moro are a part of Exposure NY’s styling division. Exposure NY is a photography agency/stylist agency in New York City.