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Pirelli Calendar 2014

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By system on Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The latest Pirelli calendar will not star fashion’s current crop of supermodels as expected, rather the Italian tyre company – which launched its first risqué edition in 1964 as an marketing tool – will release an unpublished 1986 calendar shot by Helmut Newton.

The Newton images were commissioned in 1986 by Pirelli’s Italian HQ, but at the same time their London office (which at the time handled ‘The Cal’) commissioned Bert Stern for the job. There was reportedly a bit of conflict, which evaporated when Newton had to leave the project unfinished to meet other commitments. However his close assistants finished the pages to his directions, and they were stored in Pirelli’s Italy archive — waiting for their day.

That day has come, with the 2014 calendar year matching the 1986 one, and Newton’s stunning — and now wonderfully retro — shots being published as the 50th anniversary Cal. There are the expected beautiful women, but also plenty of stunning cars (and a few tyres) … features that have largely been missing from recent Pirelli calendars, which have focused either solely on the female form or used to illustrate environmental and charity themes.

Pirelli celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and its 2014 edition has been hailed as a celebration of its success to date. Each calendar is known for starring scantily-clad supermodels posing in provocative positions, although the 2013 edition was photographed by Steve McCurry – who adopted a more demure approach to the proceedings – having famously taken the striking portrait of the green-eyed Afghan Girl for the cover of the National Geographic in 1985.

In August this year, Pirelli unveiled a commemorative shoot of some of fashion’s most famous models, including Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Helena Christensen, which were thought to pre-empt its forthcoming calendar stars – although this wasn’t to be.