Once synonymous with scantily-clad women, sizzling photo shoots and topless models before opting for a woke makeover in recent years, every iteration of the famous Pirelli Calendar has featured the world’s most beautiful people.
Now Pirelli has released glamorous vintage pictures from former issues of its calendar to mark its 150th anniversary, including works by renowned photographers Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts and Robert Freeman.
The Italian tyre maker started to release its star-studded calendar in 1964
They include works by renowned photographers Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts and Robert Freeman.
The celebrities gracing these vintage pictures include a young Cindy Crawford, Nicole Kidman, Gigi Hadid and Sophia Loren, among others.
These archives can be admired on the Pirelli website alongside this year’s calendar, entitled On The Road and shot by Bryan Adams.
Italian tyre maker Pirelli has released vintage images from its past calendars to mark its 150th anniversary. They include this picture of Cindy Crawford photographed by Herb Ritts in 1994
The vintage snap can be admired in an interactive gallery on Pirelli’s website alongsie the 2022 calendar, pictured, which was shot by Bryan Adams
Brazilian supermodel Isabeli Fontana stands out in this dive bar picture from the 2013 calendar, shot by Steve McCurry. The calendar was a departure from the usual nude and provocative pictures the calendar was known for in its previous years
The pictures were released to kick off the celebrations of Pirelli’s 150th anniversary.
They document the evolution of the often provocation material, which was once synonymous with scantily clad women in sexy poses.
Kidman, Crawford, Hadid and more are immortalised in those pictures spanning the calendar’s 58 years.
Speaking in Milan, Marco Tronchetto Provera, Pirello’s CEO and Executive Vice chairman said the brand wanted to take a journey throughout its history on the occasion of its anniversary.
‘Today we wanted to take a journey together through history but with our eyes on the future.
‘Anticipating change is what Pirelli has done for 150 years thanks to the solidity of its entrepreneurial culture and ability to be a protagonist of the present,’ he said.
Nicola Kidman posing for Peter Lindbergh in a black and white shot for the Pirelli calendar of 2017, which also starred Hellen Mirren and wanted to convey ‘personality, sensitivity and the guts to be yourself’
German model Sonny freeman Drane photographed topless in by her husband the British Robert Freeman in the first ever issue of the calendar in 1964
Swiss fashion photographer Hans Feurer took this tantalising picture of model named Marana in the 1974 calendar, which was photographed in the Seychelles
‘These things have allowed us to reach this milestone with a brand established around the world,’ he added.
‘We felt it important to share this story with our city, our country and all the international groups and communities that we work with every day. A thank you to all the 30,000 people who every day at Pirelli build our history.’
The CEO also said the Pirelli calendar has been a way for a company to ‘keep an eye on society’ and link with with the intellectuals and artists of the moment.
Last year the brand, largely ditched their raunchy history for a ‘woke’ new image, naked snaps aside.
The calendar was first released in 1964 and caused a stir when it featured full nudity for the first time nine years later.
After 10 years out of print due to financial constraints, Pirelli returned with a bang in 1984 – sultrier and sexier than every before.
In 2009, the photographer Peter Beard pictured elephants in the wild in a thought-provoking calendar for Pirelli that aimed to show the company’s concern for the environment
The 2019 calendar was shot by Albert Watson and set out to tell intricate story through the lens. It included Gigi Hadid, who played an ‘unhappy wealthy woman’ drawing comparison between her life and fish in a bowl
Also photographed by Albert Watson for the 2019 calendar, American ballet dancer Misty Copeland posed as a dancer in a strip club aspiring to another life
The company also released a vintage advertorial from the 1920s showing a confident driver speeding up in a car with Pirelli tyres
Sophia Loren posed for the 2007 calendar, by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. It featured five of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses at the time: Loren, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts and Lou Doillon
The Italian tyre company first signaled it was changing direction with its 2017 calendars, announcing it was ‘ripping up the rule book’ and giving the hotly-anticipated calendar a new feminist overhaul.
The spread featured Robin Wright, Julianne Moore, Charlotte Rampling, and Helen Mirren (then aged 50, 55, 70 and 71 respectively) and was hailed a triumph for its representation of older women.
The Pirelli calendar was once synonymous with scantily-clad women, sizzling photo shoots and topless models.
The 2020 calendar saw A-list stars including Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart and Claire Foy pose fully clothed – in everything from denim jackets to period costumes – as they each take on the role of Shakespeare’s Juliet.
The spread, shot by celebrated fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, was dubbed the ‘wokest’ Pirelli calendar to date.