The Pirelli Calendar might just be the most famous calendar in the world featuring some of the most beautiful celebrities and world-class photographers. You would expect a calendar of this calibre to be coming from a high-end designer, but here’s the interesting part; Pirelli is a tyre company based in Milan, Italy. The first ever Pirelli Calendar was published in 1964 and now, 52 years later, the 44th issue has been unveiled.
Emotional is the title of the Pirelli Calendar 2017
The Pirelli 2017 calendar was launched in Paris on November 29, 2016. It features 40 images of 14 award-winning actresses including Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and Lupita Nyong’o. This is the second year in a row that the makers behind ‘The Cal’ eschewed their usual photographs of naked or scantily clad young women shot in exotic locations. Last year, Annie Leibovitz was tasked with taking the Pirelli Calendar in a new direction – casting inspiring women of all ages. The women included Yoko Ono, Serena Williams, and Patti Smith, just to name a few.
This year, German photographer Peter Lindbergh had a somewhat similar task. Even though this issue is the third to be photographed by Peter Lindbergh, it is the first time that the images have not been retouched. Peter Lindbergh has been photographing the women’s natural beauty, and there was no makeup included in the preparations. “I wanted to portray women, not in terms of their perfection, but through their feelings and emotions,” Lindbergh explains.
Nude but Not Naked
The women in the 2017 issue are nude while being fully dressed. The explanation is, that the camera has stripped them to their very soul, one of the reasons for the title “Emotional”, Peter Lindbergh explains to Forbes. The makers have aimed for a different kind of naked this year. A kind of naked that is more important than physical. Showing yourself the way you truly are, is a purer form of nudity.
Peter Lindbergh’s aim with the photos in this year’s calendar is “to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility.”
Pirelli Calendar History
The first Pirelli Calendar launched in 1964, and the 2017 calendar is the 44th issue. That leaves some breaks in the publication. The history of the Pirelli Calendar can be divided into three different periods. The first was the decade from 1964 to 1974, which was followed by a nine-year break in publication, caused by the world recession sparked by the Yom Kippur war and the oil crisis. The second decade was from 1984 to 1994. A decade where the calendar got a new art director, was relaunched, and became progressively more successful. The last period is that which has expanded into the present and began in 1994. During this last and ongoing period, “The Cal” has achieved cult status as a trailblazer. During the second decade, where the calendar experienced progress, Terrence Donovan created a ground-breaking (especially for that time) calendar featuring only black models, including a 16 year-old Naomi Campbell at the beginning of her career.
Once again, in 1993, the calendar experienced a change in the company’s top management. This marked the beginning of the current period. Another important change was that Pirelli upped its ante internationally, launching high profile advertising campaigns and the calendar became one of the key tools for conveying the Group’s new image.
In 1994, Herb Ritts launched the new era of “The Cal” with a phenomenal line-up of supermodels such as Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Kate Moss and Karen Alexander and since then the creative talent of the contributing photographers, and the irresistible beauty of the models have been the cornerstone of the Pirelli Calendar’s global success.