As one of fashion's boldest annual traditions, the Pirelli Calendar spotlights only the most stunning, bombshell models at the top of their game. This year that includes Candice Huffine.
Huffine is one of the most successful "plus-size" models to be embraced by the high fashion crowd, and she appears topless in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar, released Tuesday. Only the second model of plus-size designation to be featured in the calendar, the size-16 stunner owns the month of April in a black bustier and sheer black thigh-highs, her hair in a retro bouffant. And in classic Pirelli fashion, her chest is entirely exposed. (NSFW photo below.)
Released yearly by Italian tire company Pirelli, the calendar brings together big-name fashion photographers with top models for a series of boundary-pushing photos, almost always nude. And while the 2013 and 2014 calendars were uncharacteristically staid affairs, 2015 is as racy as ever. The stylist behind the calendar this year is former Vogue Paris Editor-In-Chief Carine Roitfeld, and she applied her famous "porno chic" aesthetic to every photo.
That includes Huffine's. The plus-size model received no special treatment in the way of styling; her outfit is at least as sexy and revealing as those of the 11 "straight-sized" models, including big names like Natalia Vodianova and Joan Smalls. In treating Huffine equally, Pirelli has made a simple yet powerful statement: The distinction of plus size isn't actually a distinction at all.
It's a stark difference from Huffine's breakout shoot, a special "curvy" cover for Vogue Italia that called out plus-size models specifically. Incorporating the models seamlessly without singling out their shapes is slowly but surely becoming a "best practice" for the fashion industry; Vogue.com demonstrated the same respectful touch with a recent lingerie shoot featuring all plus-size models, including Huffine.
"It means everything [to have been cast by Pirelli], it's such an exciting sign of the times we live in, and an amazing move on Pirelli's part," Huffine told Harper's Bazaar about the Pirelli Calendar. "They're the epitome of sexy, they've casted the sexiest women for so many years — and they're obviously aware that sexy females come in many shapes and sizes, and they want to celebrate that. They want to celebrate what I've been celebrating for a long time."
And the rest of fashion is slowly getting in on the celebration. Huffine's fellow model Robyn Lawley has paved the way with campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Barneys and most recently Pantene, and Marquita Pring (who also posed for Vogue.com's bra shoot) popped up at a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue casting call in October. Clearly, the models labeled plus-size are proving to be, well, just models.
"I'm navigating a career and I'm really proud of myself being the size that I am," Huffine told the Telegraph on the occasion of her Pirelli shoot. "I haven't made any compromises, yet one year tops the next. I don't see [my size] as advantage, I'm just grateful that I've got to do it on the terms that I have." The fashion world — and our calendars — are all better for it.