On the surface, a calendar shouldn’t be making this kind of attention. After all, there are about millions of these things that you can pick up for a dollar at just about any convenience store on the planet.
Pirelli’s annual calendar, however, is by no means just another calendar. Similar to Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue or Victoria Secret’s Lingerie Show, the Pirelli Calendar is an institution that counts some of the world’s most prominent and influential people as its fans. More than just telling you what the today’s date is, the Pirelli Calendar has become a sort of fashion icon in itself with some of the world’s most beautiful models – sometimes even celebrities make it there – gracing its pages.
This year, the high-end Italian tire maker has teamed up with a prominent name in the fashion industry, Karl Lagerfield. Together, the two parties touched on Greek and Roman mythology for inspiration, dressing up the models, including Holywood A-lister Juliane Moore, to portray some of the mythological Gods of the olden times.
The calendar is highlighted by Moore who, in her ethereal beauty, plays the part of Hera with young model Brad Kroenig playing the role of Zeus, among others.
At the end of the day, the 2011 Pirellli Calendar is still just another one of its kind. But make no mistake, if there’s one calendar in the world that oozes with art, class and social status, it’s this one.
Press Release after the jump
Pirelli: in Moscow presenting the 2011 calendar, "MYTHOLOGY",created by Karl Lagerfeld
Moscow, 30 November 2010 – Today 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.
After Patrick Demarchelier immortalised China in the 2008 edition, Peter Beard drew a portrait of Botswana in 2009, and Terry Richardson covered Brazil in 2010, "The Cal 2011" features the creative genius of the multi-faceted artist Karl Lagerfeld, whose sense for art and aesthetics is renowned throughout the world.
From his Paris studio, 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.
"Actresses and models bring these new heroes to life and depict a new concept of the beautiful," said Karl Lagerfeld, who, within the 2011 Pirelli Calendar, has offered up an idyllic, immortal representation of beauty. Beauty, youth, the veneration of form, and desire depict this new concept of beauty and embody the modernity in mythology.
There are 21 protagonists of this edition: 15 female models, 5 male models, and the American actress Julianne Moore. The female models include: Italian models Bianca Balti and Elisa Sednaoui; Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen; Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana (also in the 2005 Calendar by Patrick Demarchelier and in the 2009 edition by Peter Beard); Polish models Magdalena Frackowiak and Anja Rubik; Australian model Abbey Lee Kershaw (who debuted in the 2010 Calendar by Terry Richardson); Indian model Lakshmi Menon; American models Heidi Mount and Erin Wasson (who debuted in the 2005 Calendar by Patrick Demarchelier); Russian model Natasha Poly; Dutch model Lara Stone and Canadian model Daria Werbowy (both of whom Peter Beard had also chosen for the 2009 Calendar); Austrian model Iris Strubegger; and Jamaican model Jeneil Williams. The 5 male models are Baptiste Giabiconi and Sébastien Jondeau (French), Brad Kroenig and Garret Neff (American), and Jake Davis (British).
Pirelli Calendar 2011 seen by Frédéric Beigbeder
For over 40 years, Pirelli has each year given carte blanche to a great photographer to immortalise the most beautiful women in the world. When it started, the idea was simply to create a great gift to motivate the sales force! Today the Pirelli calendar has become a lavish collectors’ item and, at the same time, a symbol of our company. Each year this authentic work of art acts as a sort of barometer, measuring how the image of femininity is evolving in our century. The first topless in 1972, and a break from 1974 to 1984 caused by the oil crisis: the story of the Pirelli calendar is also the story of our times. The greatest stars of fashion have taken part, epitomising the ideal beauty of each age. The calendar has become an element of contemporary mythology. So it was inevitable that, one day, Pirelli would turn to the great fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who is a legend in his own right as well as a catalyst for new trends. The first couturier to put himself on the line in this way, he went so far as to create special accessories and jewels for the occasion, and he has logically chosen one of the themes that is dearest to him: Greek and Roman mythology. Alea jacta est! The die is cast.