From 1994 to the present day
In 1993, coinciding with the end of another decade and after a change in the company’s top management, there was another important turning point. Pirelli upped its ante internationally, launching high profile advertising campaigns (including the famous image of sprinter Carl Lewis in red stilettos) and the Calendar became one of the key tools for conveying the Group’s new image. The artistic direction moved into the company’s Milan headquarters and it was decided that all references to tyres should be dropped. “The Cal”™ thus went back to being itself, an artistic publication with no limitations or restrictions placed on its creators except the canons of style and good taste. Pirelli, after all, is an international brand that is not identified with a single product family, but evokes a broad spectrum of values and meanings, first and foremost a commitment to innovation and the quest for excellence, elements that have always inspired the Calendar too.
In 1994 Herb Ritts launched the new era of “The Cal”™ with a phenomenal line-up of supermodels: Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Kate Moss and Karen Alexander. His calendar, entitled “A Homage to Women” set out to capture “the women of the 90s and their place in the world: proud, sexy and beautiful on the inside”. Since then the creative talent of the photographers and the spellbinding allure of the models have been the cornerstones of the Pirelli Calendar’s success. Its connection with the world of fashion and “glamour” have become even stronger: for runway stars, appearing in “The Cal”™ is the equivalent of making it, and the competition between newcomers is fierce.
The biggest names to grace the last few editions of the century include: Christie Turlington and Naomi Campbell (again) in 1995 (photography by Richard Avedon); Carré Otis, Eva Herzigova and Nastassja Kinsky in ’96 (photography by Peter Lindbergh), and Inés Sastre and Monica Bellucci (the first Italian model) in ’97. In 1998 Bruce Weber devoted a few shots to male film stars and singers, including Robert Mitchum, John Malkovich, Kris Kristofferson, B.B.King and Bono, while Alek Wek and Laetitia Casta were the faces of 1999, shot by Herb Ritts, and 2000, by Annie Leibovitz.
The twenty-first century opened with a Pirelli Calendar photographed in Naples by Mario Testino, starring among others Gisele Bündchen and Frankie Rayder. In 2002 the Calendar featured numerous actresses and two celebrity granddaughters: Lauren Bush (aged 17, the granddaughter of George Senior) and Kiera Chaplin (granddaughter of the great Charlie). The 2003 cast, photographed once more by Bruce Weber, was a particularly impressive one: with three Italian beauties (Mariacarla Boscono, Eva Riccobono and Valentina Stilla) alongside famous models like Sophie Dahl, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova and Natalia Vodianova, and male stars from film and sport (Alessandro Gassman, Stephane Ferrara and Richie La Montagne).
The 2004 edition, on “The Cal”™’s fortieth anniversary, focused on the hopes and dreams of divas like Catherine Deneuve and Isabella Rossellini and was entrusted to the technological creativity of Nick Knight.
In 2005 it was Patrick Demarchelier’s turn: in “O espirito do Brazil” he photographed models of the calibre of Naomi Campbell and newcomers like Adriana Lima on the sundrenched beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.
Renowned English/Turkish duo Mert and Marcus were at the helm in 2006, choosing the retro 1960s allure of the Côte d’Azur and sensual beauties like Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen. 2007 was the year of Hollywood’s finest, showcasing five divas: Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts and the up and coming Lou Doillon, photographed by the Dutch partners Ines and Vinoodh Matadin in California.
In 2008 Patrick Demarchelier photographed The Cal™ once more, opting for locations in Asia for the very first time.
Entirely shot on location in Shanghai, the cast mingled East and West, including the Chinese actress Maggie Cheung and the top model Doutzen Kroes.
In 2009 famed artist Peter Beard took “The Cal”™ to Botswana, shooting internationally acclaimed models like Daria Werbowy, Lara Stone and Mariacarla Boscono. Beard, who lived in Kenya for 30 years, is one of the world’s greatest photographers of the mystery and allure of Africa.
The 2010 edition was entrusted to the American photographer Terry Richardson, “enfant terrible” known for his raunchy, provocative style, working with laid-back, sassy characters like Miranda Kerr, Lily Cole, Rosie Huntington and Ana Beatriz.
Behind the 2011 calendar was the creative genius of Karl Lagerfeld: artist, aesthete and multi-talented fashion legend. In his Paris studio Lagerfeld created “Mythology”, a calendar that reflected his passion for classical Greek and Roman culture. His dazzling cast of male and female personalities included the models Baptiste Giabiconi and Brad Kroenig and the actress Julianne Moore.
The 2012 edition was the work of Mario Sorrenti, the first Italian photographer, who chose Corsica as the setting for “Swoon”, starring Milla Jovovich, Kate Moss and Isabeli Fontana.
In 2013 “The Cal”™ was entrusted to Steve McCurry, one of the world’s most famous photo reporters, whose shots for Pirelli revealed the changing social and economic situation in Brazil. His cast, which included the Brazilian actress Sonia Braga, the singer Marisa Monte, and the models Adriana Lima, Petra Nemcova and Summer Rayne Oakes, all shared a common commitment to charity work, supporting NGOs, Foundations and humanitarian projects.