Above: Twenty-one year old Karen Elson, from Manchester, England, hardly looks like the girl next door. She was spotted in October 1998 by one of Ford's European talent scouts, and soon aftershe was working on a shoot with Steven Meisel for the cover of Italian Vogue. That was the turning opoint of her career, and in October 1997 she won VH1's fashion Award for Female Model of the Year. Her rise to fame has been meteoric, and she has turned up in virtually every fashion magazine from Milan to paris, to London to New York. She has worked on major advertising campaigns for Channel, Versace, Lacroix and Moschino, and Clinique's Happy.
2006 Pirelli Calendar
the world's most exclusive and expensive pinup
from the word's biggest tire manufacturer
how can you get a Pirelli Calendar? You probably can't. It is an exclusive Corporate gift which is distributed only in limited quantities worldwide (40,000 copies) to selected customers, VIPs and relevant personalities. Pirelli
Corporation in Italy sells the calendars to their national distributors around
the world at a cost of around $40 each. The distributors, in
turn, give them as promotional gifts to the media, their distributors
and friends. In the overly conservative country of America where there is such a
huge social hangup over nudity, and an employer can be sued for sexual
harassment if they hand out or display a nude calendar in the
workplace, the Pirelli USA automotive division buys and gives away only a small handful
of calendars to special industry friends. The motorcycle division at Pirelli USA does not order the calendars, nor will they provide us with press materials or a sample of the calendar. Once in a while you
can find an old Pirelli Calendar on Ebay.com, but your change
of getting a current calendar is next to impossible.
Calendar Books and the Pirelli Calendar Website are your best opportunity to see
what you've been missing. Perhaps
someday Pirelli will offer their calendar for sale internationally
through their website. But for now, you can find detailed information
and pictures from the Pirelli Calendars on the Pirelli website
Pirelli Calendar Books
to Buy Now!
Brief History of a Legend
The Pirelli Calendar dates back to 1964 when the Marketing Department of Pirelli Ltd in the UK decided to issue a Calendar for their top U.K. customers as a gift for the closing year. In fact the Pirelli Calendar project had been born one year earlier, in 1963 with Terence Donovan, but had not met the approval of Pirelli's managers. However for 1964 the pictures were so beautiful that the new calendar was released for distribution and the success on the media was immediate.
Over a period of more than 30 years the Pirelli Calendars have shaken the media world with their audacity, innovation and spectacular imagery. The Calendar was very much a product of the cultural revolution which inspired a new sensuality, a new appreciation of the female form and, above all, an urgent need to break taboos. In the sixties a tidal wave of creative energy swept through rock music, fashion, films and photography, and the stuffiness and austerity of post-war London quickly surrendered to a new vitality which turned the city into the style capital of the world. At the same time a tyre manufacturer with a foreign name shot to fame outside Italy with an annual PR extravaganza which became coveted by students, cabinet ministers, royalties and superstars alike. An idea of creative genius became a printed icon for each year, spawned many inferior imitations and stretched the parameters of sensual fantasy and fabulous photography. The Pirelli Calendar has redefined the rules of glamorous photography; by tradition calendars were hung on garage walls - now they hang in museums, and Pirelli have gone on redefining those rules year after year. Its twelve leaves were - and still are - awaited with enthusiastic anticipation.
The aim of the Calendar is to produce through the photographer's creativity a theme and a set of pictures of high artistic level: its exclusivity was planned and carefully maintained by Pirelli.
Above: Karen wants to go swimming, but she has forgotten her suit!
Pirelli Calendars Online
The launch of the 2006 calendar coincides with the launch of www.pirellical.com, the new portal devoted to the Cal that presents 42 years of the history of photogrpahy. Three years from the launch of the first official website, the legend of the Pirelli Calendar is also renewed online with new and exclusive contents. The only disappointment is that we can't enjoy the photos online or in available Pirelli Calendar books, in the beautiful large formats and high quality printing in which they origionally appeared in the calendars.