Say Pirelli Calendar, and buxom women in staged pin-up photos might be the first thought that comes to mind. But, this year, Pirelli went a different direction with “The Cal” as it’s been nicknamed through the years. Shot by Albert Watson and art directed by Fabien Baron, the 40-page, 2019 Pirelli Calendar has a distinctly cinematic quality. Instead of hoisted breasts, cinched waists, and hyper-feminine nudity, The Cal features scenes of women, like Gigi Hadid and Misty Copeland, in a state of dreaming.
“The Pirelli calendar was, at the bottom roots, a pinup calendar for mechanics when they changed tires,” Watson told CNN in an interview. “They held onto the sexy thing for a long period of time, and when it came time for me to do it, (it) seemed wrong to take models to the beach to take their tops off. It seemed out of time with the #MeToo movement.”
Another unusual appearance: Alexander Wang, who appears in two appearances. Wang appears inside of a TV screen opposite Gigi Hadid in a living room, and again at a bar. Historically, men have made appearances in past Pirelli calendars, but they often look like sexed-up Greek gods, or chiseled athletes. Wang, however, portrays a softer side to masculinity that, traditionally, hasn’t been deemed fit for the pages of Pirelli’s calendar.
Suffice to say, this is a (welcomed) change from the traditional Pirelli Calendar we are used to seeing. Not to say that overt, in-your-face sexiness doesn’t have its own value or the ability to empower, but in a post-Me Too era, this feels exactly instep with what we need: strong women chasing their dreams, rather than being objectified and reduced to a singular fantasy.
Watch the teaser video for The Cal, below: