Pirelli Unveils its 2011 Calendar

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli unveiled its 2011 calendar yesterday in Moscow:

The 2011 Pirelli Calendar, now it its 38th edition, was presented to the world’s press and to other guests and collectors from around the world.  The event was held at the prestigious Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko theatre, which has, over the course of more than 90 years, been the site of operas and ballets that have become a part of the nation’s artistic heritage.

From his Paris studio, Karl Lagerfeld created “Mythology”, a calendar that reflects one of his deepest passions, that of Greek and Roman mythology, tales of the origins of humanity told through the adventures of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines.  On a voyage back through time transported by the universal language of photography, “Mythology” takes us to the roots of classical civilisation and takes the Pirelli Calendar back to the Old World, where nearly 140 years ago a company was born that was to become a multinational organisation with operations in over 160 nations around the world.

The 36 photos that make up the 2011 Calendar show 24 different subjects, including gods, heroes and myths.  With his keen eye, Lagerfeld has ‘sculpted’ these photos both in terms of their aesthetic rigour and for the recurring references to the art of sculpture and its classical tenets.  All of the photos are in black and white, which lends character to the images, exalts the beauty of the figures represented in sharp chromatic contrast, and gives them a certain three-dimensionality through the careful use of light.


The calendar is published annually by the Pirelli company’s UK subsidiary and dates back to 1964, famous for its limited availability because it is not sold, but only given as a corporate gift to a limited number of important Pirelli customers and celebrity VIPs.  

“The Cal” was originally launched as a “great gift to motivate the sales force” and is renowned around the world for its stunning photos of beautiful women.  But over the years, it has been elevated from something to adorn a garage wall to high art.

Kate Moss was a previous model for the calendar and four years ago screen legend Sophia Loren made history when she posed in it at age 72.

This year’s calendar features 15 female models including Julianne Moore, Erin Wasson, Natasha Poly, Lara Stone, Isabeli Fontana and Bianca Balti, and five male models including Baptiste Giabiconi and Garrett Neff.

Further Reading:



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