Photographer Steve McCurry poses with models, from left, Summer Rayne Oakes, Petra Nemcova, Kyleigh Kuhn and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem at the 2013 Pirelli Calendar red carpet event in Rio.

London - Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima has become the first model to pose for the Pirelli Calendar while pregnant.

The Brazilian-born 31-year-old, who gave birth to her second daughter, Sienna, in September (and walked the Victoria’s Secret catwalk just weeks after), was snapped by famed American photojournalist Steve McCurry on the streets of Rio de Janiero in July.

She wears a black cropped top and low-slung skirt in the image, rather more clothing than one might usually see on a model in the Pirelli Calendar. But Lima is not the only one.

For the fist time, McCurry has bucked the risqué themes favoured by predecessors such as Mario Sorrenti and Terry Richardson, as all 11 of the women featured are clothed.

Model Summer Rayne Oakes leans against giant bamboo stems in a plunging red dress, and Brazilian actress Sonia Braga reaches from a weathered stone balcony in a sleeved purple one.

Of course the images are no less alluring – with a cast counting some of the world’s most beautiful women, such as Karlie Kloss, Liya Kebede and Petra Nemcova, that would be near impossible.

It does, however, lack the overt sexiness for which previous calendars have become known, prompting the Huffington Post headline: “Not Sexy Enough?”

While one might imagine that the women were all selected for their looks, Vogue Italia reports that “the models were chosen because they are protagonists involved in the support of foundations, NGOs and humanitarian projects”.

McCurry, who is most famous for his Afghan Girl photo for National Geographic, calls the finished product a “calendar of the soul”.

He explained in a statement: “I would say I am a street photographer doing ‘found situations’. You can photograph nudes anywhere. 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.”

He told Women’s Wear Daily that it was 62-year-old Braga who impressed him the most. “She is so full of life. She has gone through so many incarnations in her career. At this point, it seems that she just wanted to have fun.”

Several pages in the calendar do not even feature professional models at all. One shows a fruit-and-vegetable seller at a street market, another a wall of graffiti. One of the most captivating is a group of capoeira masters practising at sunset.

McCurry told WWD: “The setting is very important. Since I have worked all over the world, hopefully there is a sense of humanity in my pictures. I also wanted to highlight Brazil’s social and economic transformation.”

The 2013 edition marks Karlie Kloss’s Pirelli Calendar debut. Lima has posed for the calendar before, wearing lingerie on the beach for photographer Patrick Demarchelier back in 2005.

The new edition also stars Elisa Sednaoui, Isabeli Fontana, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem and Kyleigh Kuhn. – Daily Mail