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The annual Pirelli Calendar is more than the publication of twelve nude, beautiful women. Karl Lagerfeld, who was given the desirable task of shooting the 2011 Pirelli calendar said, “The Pirelli Calendar is a myth, a tribute to the woman, sometimes anticipates the mores of society with its aesthetic codes and archetypes, and marks the future.”
The limited-edition calendar, which is released by Italian tire company Pirelli, is only reserved for Pirelli’s best clients (not more than 20.000 copies). During the years the wide range of authors and styles makes Pirelli calendar symbol of beauty and attract to reflect the spirit of our times.
The 2012 calendar is still a top secret but Italian Vanity Fair has an exclusive preview of the illustrious including Kate Moss, Lara Stone, Milla Jovovich, Saskia de Brauw, Isabeli Fontana, and the actress Rinko Kikuchi. The photo shoot takes place on Croatia and is provided by Mario Sorrenti, who is well known for his artful nudes for fashion magazines, including Vogue.
The official release of the calendar is December 6, but there are previews available at Vanity Fair Italia, showing behind-the-scenes images of Sorrenti and the girls at the shoot in the countryside, in old farmhouses surrounded by rocks, nature and sprayed with seawater.
Pirelli Calendar was published for the first time in 1964. The first photographer was Robert Freeman and the photoshoot took place in Mallorca, Spain. This was the beginning of a yearly tradition that features the world’s leading models and photographers — although it forced to make a good eight year break during the oil-shock between 1975 and 1983.
According to their website, during its publication years, the Pirelli calendar has provided an extraordinary array of imagery and all editions of the Pirelli Calendar provide an enduring suggestion to the metamorphosis of our society. For instance, in 2009 Pirelli shot in the south of Africa in the Botswana to underline company’s concerns about the environment.
The photographer Peter Beard said, “The 56 plates of the new Cal are a rich collage of images, quotations, observations by the artist on the environment, climate change and global warming, overpopulation and the depletion of natural resources.” On the other hand, the Calendar is created to provide cultural statements, provoke and educate the receiver.
In 1999, the photographer Herb Ritts, presented a journey through the history of women and society which started in the Belle Epoque in 1890s and ended in the 20th century. He provided his vision with famous actresses and models as Laetitia Casta and Sophie Dall.
The success of the calendar is helped on by the renowned photographers, actresses and models. As in the past, Pirelli engage the most popular beauties in fashion industry like Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campell, Cindy Crawford and actresses such as Monica Belluci, Penélope Cruz, Sophia Loren or Jennifer Lopez.
Calendars have been launched by significant photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh and Richard Avedon. So far, 31 photographers have done photo shoots for the Pirelli Calendar all over the world. From the incredible beautiful beaches of Mallorca, Tunisia, Jamaica, Seychelles, Rio de Janeiro and California through the glamour of Miami, New York, Hollywood and Shanghai to the mystic atmosphere of Edinburgh, Cotswolds in Scotland and England.
The 2011 photo shoot was done by legendary fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld. The photo shoot took place in a studio in Paris. Lagerfeld photographed top models and actresses as Greek and Roman gods, myths and heroes. The title of the calendar was “Mythology” and famous names as Anja Rubik, Isabelli Fontana, Magdalena Frackowiak and Lara Stone were taking apart in this artistic event.
The phenomenon of Pirelli Calendar has been documented in ‘The Saga of the Pirelli calendar’ by Emmanuel Le Ber, in 2010. The documentary focuses on the calendar’s history, from 1964 to 2010, behind the scenes, and how it’s become a marketing event.