PIRELLI'S celebrated risque calendar turns 50 this year and the company is marking the event by bringing together some of the most famous photographers and models who have posed for it over the years.
The Pirelli Calendar was founded in 1964 as a marketing tactic for the company's elite tire business, which is among one of the top-grossing companies in Italy.
In its 50-year-history, the calendar has commissioned an illustrious list of photographers that include Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Beard, and Mario Sorrenti, among others.
They have captured supermodels including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, as well as actresses Selma Blair, Penélope Cruz, and Sophia Loren in photographs that serve as an ode to Italian sensuality.
At the time of its establishment in the mid-Sixties - an era rife with both counterculture and political conservatism - the calendar created a new niche for erotica as an art form.
Typically shot in various states of undress, Pirelli's various editions showcase the female form not as a purely sexual object, but as a canvas for femininity and fertility.