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2019 Pirelli calendar puts lens on women’s ambition

MILAN — Photographer James Watson is keeping the Pirelli calendar on its arc away from its origins as a pinup calendar, featuring portrayals of four women trying to find their purpose in life.

The 2019 Pirelli calendar unveiled Wednesday features four stories of women and those around them: ballet dancer Misty Copeland as an aspiring dancer, actress Julia Garner as a botanical photographer, model Gigi Hadid as a socialite and French model and actress Laetitia Casta as an artist.

Watson said he wanted an art-driven project, adding “the idea was to change Pirelli, and not to do Misty or Julia or Laetitia as pin-ups. That is why I introduced quite strongly some men into this, because it was about their lives.”

The Pirelli calendar in recent years has had less focus on nudity, although it has not been removed completely.