It was a pleasant surprise last year when we learned that our own Summer Rayne Oakes modelled for the 2013 Pirelli calendar, photographed by Steve McCurry. Released today, this year’s Pirelli calendar, its 50th anniversary publication, is an even bigger surprise: it is the work of the late Helmut Newton, shot for the company in 1986.
The calendar was originally unreleased due to a dispute. In 1985, both Pirelli’s head office and its UK branch commissioned a calendar, the former asking Newton, and the latter Bert Stern.
Newton abandoned the project due to ‘personal problems,’ says Pirelli, and Stern’s calendar wound up being the 1986 edition.
Susie Bick, Betty Prado, and Antonia dell’Atte model in the calendar, which was photographed in Monaco at the Grand Prix, and the Podere Terreno estate in Chianti, Toscana. It also does not, as with McCurry’s 2013 calendar, feature nudity.
Newton, true to form, still manages to convey sensuality through his images.
The work was completed by Newton’s assistants, Manuela Pavesi and Xavier Alloncle, to his specifications, and remained in the Pirelli archives.
The 2014 calendar features 12 black-and-white photographs, complemented by 28 behind-the-scenes images. Newton passed away in 2004.
Pirelli will also host a retrospective to mark the anniversary at Hangar Bicocca, via Privata Chiese 2, 20126 Milano, on November 23 and 24.