Pirelli? Don't they make tires?
Yes, indeed, the Pirelli Clan is mainly in the business of tire production, but like Michelin has its interest in good cooking, Pirelli too has an interest in the arts, beautiful women in exquisite (NOT explicit) photographs, to be precise.
So they publish a nudie calendar?
Not really. You see, the Calendar is not really about the depicted women (who are not necessarily nude
), but rather to produce a set of pictures of high artistic level by utilizing the photographer's creativity and giving him a certain theme to work with, always trying to be on the forefront of photographic and stylistic innovation, stretching the parameters of sensual fantasy and fabulous photography and redefining the rules of glamorous photography.
Or so they say themselves. The aim is to create a calendar fit to be hung in museums, not garages (once again, the tire connection).
The photographers are usually world famous talents, as are the models, usually depicted in an erotic, but not vulgar way. Nude pictures are common, but not required, in fact some of the nicer ones are not nude. The artistic and esthetic quality really is amazing, and back issues give an interesting insight into the european styles of art and fashions of the recent years.
Sounds nice, so where can I get one?
Ah, the here's the catch: You can't! (Me neither, for that matter) Yes, you read correctly, this piece of beauty and art can not be bought, anywhere. It is printed in a strictly limited edition of 40,000 copies worldwide, given out as a gift to very good customers of Pirelli, VIPs and "relevant personalities".
That's right, only 1:155000 or 0,0006451% of the world's population has a chance of receiving one directly, and back issues, when sold at all, fetch phenomenal prices.
So, in effect, it is an elitarian product to differentiate the bigwhigs from the masses, to make them feel good about themselves, and to give the name of Pirelli a flair of exclusiveness. Us proles may be happy to see some of the photographs reprinted in magazines or posted on the net. How nice, so now I know where not to buy my next set of tires...
Photographers and locations:
1964: Robert Freeman in Majorca
1965: Brian Duffy in the South of France
1966: Peter Knapp in Al Hoceima, Morocco
1967: Not Published
1968: Harry Peccinotti in Tunisia
1969: Harry Peccinotti in Big Sur, California
1970: Francis Giacobetti in Paradise Island, The Bahamas
1971: Francis Giacobetti in Jamaica
1972: Sarah Moon in Villa Les Tilleuls, Paris
1973: Brian Duffy in London
1974: Hans Feurer in The Seychelles
1975-83: Not published
1984: Uwe Ommer in The Bahamas
1985: Norman Parkinson in Edinburgh, Scotland
1986: Bert Stern in the Cotswolds, England
1987: Terence Donovan in Bath, England
1988: Barry Lategan in London
1989: Joyce Tennyson in the Polaroid Studios, New York
1990: Arthur Elgort in Seville, Spain
1991: Clive Arrowsmith in France
1992: Clive Arrowsmith in Almeria, Spain
1993: John Claridge in the Seychelles
1994: Herb Ritts at Paradise Island, the Bahamas
1995: Richard Avedon in New York
1996: Peter Lindbergh in El Mirage, California
1997: Richard Avedon in New York
1998: Bruce Weber in Miami
1999: Herb Ritts in Los Angeles
2000: Annie Leibovitz in Rhinebeck, N. New York City
2001: Mario Testino in Naples, Italy
2002: Peter Lindbergh in Hollywood, Los Angeles
2003: Bruce Weber in Campania, Italy
So, where's the good stuff?
- A small selection of even smaller thumbnails of some of the more recent calendars is viewable at Pirelli's official Website:
How nice of them to share...