The Pirelli Calendar began in 1964, when the Italian tire company’s execs latched on to the inherent marketing possibilities of that timeworn pairing—girls and cars! Its annual arrival rivaled only, perhaps, by the Sports Illustrated annual Swimsuit issue. Brazen, artful, naughty, titillating; relentlessly avant-garde; shamelessly provocative; mildly subliminal— the actual calendar was only ever available on an ultra-exclusive basis to a select few clientele and VIPs.
The Pirelli: The Calendar 50 Years and More book, was released from Taschen this month. The book features the supermodel nineties—Kate,Naomi, Cindy when everything was painted with cherry red lipstick and water droplets. Helena Christensen wearing just a coconut shell as a bikini.
One of the true rarities in the book is Helmut Newton’s “lost” calendar—the 1986 commission ultimately went to Bert Stern, but Newton’s was eventually printed in 2013. Shot in classic black and white on location in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Chianti, Italy, with svelte, bombshell models maneuvering tires in torn sundresses and heels, sultry frocks and mechanic’s suits, it evokes Pirelli in one of its surprisingly most literal and romantic moments.
Here, is a sneak peek into the Pirelli Calendar’s book.