8 posts tagged "Pirelli Calendar"
In a Chelsea photo studio last month, the scene was a jungle of sorts. Nothing as literal as palm-frond props—but there was a baby tiger and toxic ooze seeping out of jumbo Polaroids that Peter Beard had laid on the floor. Beard’s friend/muse/producer, Natalie White, warned no one in particular: “Don’t step in the goo! You’ll burn your feet off!”
Beard, naturally, was braving the terrain in socks. Now in his seventies, the man famous for his adventures in Africa seems as dismissive as ever of caution or over-planning. Beard made his way through the chaos in sweatpants, a wet paintbrush in hand. “I try and make it messy,” he said. “We don’t like chic.”
That “we” includes Raphael Mazzucco, the photographer Beard partnered with for the four-day shoot. White (who’s also worked with Olivier Zahm and Will Cotton) made it happen, but the two photographers are friends from Montauk, where both have houses. Another thing they’ve got in common: a portfolio full of beauties. Beard’s contains everything from Veruschka for Vogue in the seventies to the 2009 Pirelli calendar; Mazzucco’s, the stacked rosters of Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret. They were working separately, thus offering Angela Lindvall, Noot Seear, Pamela Anderson, and the other models who came by the opportunity to do a two-for-one. And each was flexing his own style: Beard double-exposing images of African wildlife over models and Mazzucco experimenting with baby powder and colored gels.
Both were happy to leave a lot of the process up to chance, and neither had any particular plans for the images. “London would be good,” was as specific as Mazzucco got. For the time being, the only place to see them is Style.com.
The Pirelli Calendar turns 50 in 2014. To celebrate, the tire company execs have decided not to create a new edition. Rather, they’re releasing a previously unpublished version, originally slated for 1986, shot in Tuscany and Monte Carlo by none other than the prolific Helmut Newton.
First, some backstory: The calendar has become a mainstay marketing tool for a company that would otherwise have no real link to the überglam sphere of fashion photography (think: Herb Ritts’ 1991 edit, photographed in the Bahamas with the likes of Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss, or Norman Parkinson’s 1985 datebook with Iman in Edinburgh).
It’s with some irony, then, that Newton’s commission was the first to feature direct Pirelli product placement. Prior to 1986, the only connection to the company’s goods was vague (tire tracks seen in Uwe Ommer’s 1984 calendar, for example). When tasked to feature Pirelli’s wheels front and center, Newton eagerly embraced the challenge. The images are chock-full of horsepower.
Pirelli didn’t stop there. The brand commissioned former Pirelli sharpshooters Peter Lindbergh and Patrick Demarchelier to snap a “celebratory” lineup of such models as Karolina Kurkova and Alek Wek, and organized a retrospective, which will be held in the company’s HangarBicocca venue in Milan. The latter will showcase the work of the thirty-plus photographers who have contributed to the calendar over the years.
The annual Pirelli calendar—famed for showcasing saucy shots of supermodels in the buff—celebrates fifty this year with a megawatt lineup, including Helena Christensen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Alek Wek, Karolina Kurkova, and Isabeli Fontana. But judging by the series of tribute images —reportedly lensed not by the yet-to-be-revealed 2013 calendar photographer, but by Pirelli vets Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh to build hype around the half-century milestone—the calendar’s stars are decidedly more dressed up than usual—well, by Pirelli standards, anyway. The catwalkers were snapped in black lingerie, as well as white shirts and their Skivvies. The full calendar, which has, in the past,been shot by the likes of Bruce Weber, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Karl Lagerfeld, and Inez and Vinoodh (just to name a few), will be unveiled thisNovember—no word yet if the final images will be more, ahem, stripped-down.
At the young age of 26, Kyleigh Kuhn has brought about more positive change than most can hope to effect in a lifetime, and she’s using her modeling career as a platform to spread the word about her humanitarian works. Hailing from California, Kuhn has shot with top-tier photographers like Bruce Weber and Patrick Demarchelier—she even landed a coveted spot in this year’s Stephen McCurry-lensed Pirelli calendar. But when she’s not in front of the camera, Kuhn is busy following in the footsteps of her philanthropist mother, Heidi, who founded Roots of Peace, an organization dedicated to de-mining, replanting, and rebuilding war-torn countries. It all began in 2003, when Kyleigh launched the Roots of Peace Penny campaign. She asked fellow youngsters to donate their spare change, which was later used to construct a ten-room schoolhouse in Mir Bacha Kot, a small village in Afghanistan located near Kabul.
The model has returned to the Kyleigh Kuhn School (she told Style.com that she was “embarrassed but honored” that they named it after her) several times since it opened in 2007. And she brought photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya along to document its 250-plus students for her new book, Yearbook Afghanistan. “Whenever I’d come back from Afghanistan, I’d try to share stories about the characters I’d met, the beautiful landscape I’d seen, and the cultural experiences I’d had. But I often felt frustrated because most of the time, people would ask me about the country’s violent aspects instead of the things that excited and inspired me. This book was a way to do those parts justice,” Kuhn explained. While flipping through the glossy pages of boys and girls in grades one through nine, Kuhn said the publication helps “an American audience get a sense of the kids I’m interacting with, but also builds solidarity for the school. It boosts the students’ morale and helps them to reflect. The children get to see images of themselves and their peers—maybe for the first time in their lives.” Continue Reading “Model-Slash-Peacemaker: Kyleigh Kuhn” »