Did Something Go Wrong With The Pirelli Calendar This Year?

We reported back in August that the 2013 Pirelli calendar was underway, with a teaser shot by Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh featuring models Miranda Kerr, Alek Wek, Helena Christensen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Isabeli Fontana, and Karolina Kurkova in Risky Business uniforms. However, those photos seemed to be used just for an ancillary shoot, and the real 2013 calendar, which is the 50th anniversary issue, will instead be a 27-year-old photo shoot.
Shot by Helmut Newton, the calendar was never released in 1986 because there were two competing shoots — a British production involving Bert Stern and an Italian one with Newton. However, Newton had "to step down due to personal problems [involving] urgent family business." And, in the end, Stern's version was the released issue that year. Newton's has since remained unseen in the archives, until this year when it was reconstructed for distribution. Models Susie Bick, Antonia Dell'atte, and Betty Prado pose in Monte Carlo's Grand Prix among Pirelli tires — the brand's first foray into conspicuous product placement.
Why the last-minute bait and switch with calendars? Especially considering the huge caliber of both models and photographers? Pirelli states that the Lindbergh and Demarchelier portraits were a special shoot "to celebrate the anniversary" (British Vogue reported that the shoot acted as a preview to the actual calendar). For a giant company like Pirelli to rerelease an unheard-of issue for such an important anniversary without the sort of priming and teasing beforehand...well, it all sounds as fishy as Newton's last-minute "urgent family business." We've reached out to Pirelli for a comment, and a spokesperson responded, "The Lindbergh / Demarcheiler photos released earlier this year was a special tribute shoot organized as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for The Cal. This was a separate initiative to the release of the 2014 Calendar that has just been announced, being the unpublished 1986 Helmut Newton calendar. [They] decided to unveil this edition in this landmark year given Newton's iconic stamp on the fashion/photography worlds — and another cool coincidence is that the 1986 edition is actually usable as a Calendar in terms of dates lining up (for instance if the 1st September was a Sunday in 1986 it will be the same in 2014)." We'll give them that — it's a cool coincidence indeed! Click through for five teaser shots from the actual calendar.

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