50 YEARS OF “THE CAL”™: THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CALENDAR
The Calendar is the icon of Pirelli's communication. A symbol that for fifty years not only celebrates the female beauty, but also celebrates the complexity of an art that has been able to transform itself over time. With constantly changing styles and authors, this art always manages to express a new aspect of history.
“The Cal”™ was the brainchild of Pirelli UK Limited, the Group’s British subsidiary, which worked on the project with ample leeway. In 1964 the Brits, looking for a marketing strategy to help Pirelli stand out from domestic competition, appointed the art director Derek Forsyth and British photographer Robert Freeman, famous for his portraits of the Beatles, to produce what was an entirely innovative project for its day.
The result was a refined, exclusive product with artistic and cultural connotations that from the start set it apart from the world of fashion and “glamour”.
Since then, for 50 years “The Cal”™ has continued to mark the passing of time with images by the most highly acclaimed photographers of the moment – capturing and interpreting contemporary culture and often setting new trends.
The three eras of “The Cal”™
The history of the Pirelli Calendar can be divided into three different eras:
- The first decade, from 1964 to ’74, which was followed by a break in publication (for nine years) due to the world recession sparked by the Yom Kippur war and the oil crisis;
- The second decade, from ’84 to ’94, which saw the Calendar being relaunched and becoming progressively more successful;
- from 1994 to the present, spanning the turn of the millennium, during which time “The Cal”™ has achieved cult status as a trailblazer.