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All images and information on this website are copywrited and owned by / Gianatsis Design and may not be used without permission. Pit Lane News uses authorized press news services with permission. Editorial contributions welcome, Advertising & Calendar sponsorship inquires:

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.

The 2006 Pirelli Calendar
the world's most exclusive and expensive pinup calendar
from the word's biggest tire manufacturer

Paris, France, Nov 18th 2005 - The 2006 edition of the Pirelli Calendar, a cult object for more than 40 years for people who love photography, beauty, and the evolution of society, was presented in its world premier in Paris. The 2006 edition features photography by the British - Turkish duo, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, world renowned photographers who specialize in women's portraits, and was shot in a striking sixties-like setting on the French Riveria and stars six extraordinary beautiful and sensual women.

American pop music and movie star Jennifer Lopez makes her Pirelli debut this year, together with supermodels Giselle Bundchen (also featured in the 2001 calendar), Guinevere Van Seenus, icon Kate Moss (who made her debut in the famous 1994 Herb Ritts edition), Britain's Karen Elson (first appearing extremely young in 1999, then again in 2001), and Russian Natalia Vodianova (who made her debut in 2003 with bruce Weber and also starred in Nick Knights' 2004 edition) and nude, sexy and georgeous in 27 shots that make up the most transgressive edition of "The Calendar".

Seduction and freedom of expression are the themes of the 2006 pirelli Calendar, whose linking threads could be summed up in the expression "libres et puissantes". Aware of their fame and beauty, the six models feel free to undress and appear sensual and intriguing. The body is portrayed as a free instrument of power: sensuality becomes a dolphin on a leash or a kitten securely held in the nude arms of a naughty girl. True contemporary icons, these exotic interpreters pose with impeccable professionalism and freedom, creating and immediate feeling between them and the viewer as created by two of the world's greatest photographers.

The Alas-Piggot duo have an innovative, versatile style. Mert's tenacity blends perfectly with Marcus' inventiveness, and the result is an ellegant and very personal approach to photography: provocative and opulent, the mainly black and white ( except for subtle splashes of color on the cover and in the months of march and November) evoke Helmet Newton-like moods and portray an inebrating, wicked woman.

"Everything evolves around the models, and there is great freedom. We create images that follow no rules, underlined Mert. "The photo shoot was an experience where everything flowed and was very natural," added Marcus.

The extraordinary settings offered by the Cap d'Antibes and the French Riviera are extremely elegant. The sea, the cliffs plunging into the water, luxurious yachts and fabulous villas with sumptous gardens are the backdrops for this edition. Water is the dominant element that accentuates the shine of the skin and creates extrardinary lighteffects on wet bodies, which makes the photos particularly sensuous and enticing. Strong, sexy black and white amplifies and completes the effects of the sea. The modern and origional photos have a sixties and seventies mood nonetheless, blending tradition and innovation, which the two photographers use to impress their very personal mark.

So 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, but your change of getting a current calendar is next to impossible.

The Pirelli 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 at

Giselle Bundchen hangs out on the Riviera

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The Pirelli Calendar Books
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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, 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.