March 27, 2000 01:00pm
Nude Calendar Ladies Are U.S.-Bound
(LONDON) -- Please welcome the ladies of the Rylstone and District chapter of the Women's Institute. With their clothes on.
A group of middle-age British women who created a hit by posing nude with knitting and cooking utensils for a 2000 calendar are planning to take their business to the United States.
The ladies, presumably covered, will hit the talk show circuit to promote the launch of a new edition of their calendar. The new 18-month version - which runs from June 2000 through December 2001 - will feature some previously unseen photos of them in their birthday suits.
But the women aren't limiting their exposure.
In a parody of supermodels who posed naked for an anti-fur campaign, the women now appear on billboards in Britain wearing only wide smiles and strategically placed sunflowers to promote a new laundry detergent from Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever. ``We'd rather go naked than go without Sun Fresh,'' is the ad's slogan.
``We've never said we wouldn't strip off again, just that it had to be in good taste and worthwhile,'' Tricia Stewart, aka Miss October, told the Daily Express newspaper.
``There had been a little bit of shyness and embarrassment with the calendar but not this time.''
The original calendar, conceived as a fund-raiser after a husband of one of the women died of leukemia, elicited orders from all over the world.
The women came up with the idea after figuring that their usual calendars, which featured glowing sunsets and rose-covered cottages, wouldn't bring in enough money.
They posed nude performing a series of domestic tasks associated with the Women's Institute - a service organization founded in 1915 - including making jam and knitting sweaters.
The spoof of a garage mechanic's calendar was an immediate hit at $8, and has raised $550,000.