2013 marked the 40th anniversary of Pirelli’s calendar, but odds are you’ve probably never seen one in real life. Every year, Pirelli gathers a dozen gorgeous (Margareth Madè) and famous (Milla Jovovich) women and asks them to strip for the camera. The calendar prints are so few that even the most well-intentioned gentleman in the motorcycle industry, me, has yet to see a copy of this celebration of the female body.
For 2013, Pirelli has taken a whole new approach. The nude calendar is no more, and while we mourn its loss, we’re excited about where this is headed. Pirelli hired photographer Stephen McCurry, dropped the idea of jaw-dropping babes, and drafted a roster of girl next door type belles doing awe-inspiring charitable work across the world for a serious of clothed portraits. The results are stunning all the same, as these women and Rio bare just enough to show why they’re rising stars on a global scale.
On a completely non-powersports related, there’s a reason why photographer Stephen McCurry’s name may ring a bell. In 1984, a twelve year old refugee girl had her photo taken in Pakistan. The Afghan Girl, pictured to the left and photographed by McCurry, was the cover of National Geographic months later and became one of most famous pictures of the 20th century.
The photo shoot took place in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil’s capital, a vibrant, lively, up and coming city filled with culture and flavour. Pirelli and photographer Stephen McCurry’s girl-power team from household names like Adriana Lima, to names your household’s never heard of, like Petra Němcová. Oh sure, she’s a little less Hollywood, but Petra’s Happy Hearts Foundation, founded after she lost her husband in the 2005 Tsunami in Thailand, aims at improving the lives of children in natural disaster areas. These are women with big hearts using big popularity to do big things. The women and their Brazilian backdrops are stunning.
“I think it’s so amazing that Pirelli has decided to provide this incredible platform for powerful women and their causes. Since inception we have rebuilt 57 schools around the world. This year we will rebuild at least 11 to 13 new schools and that’s just the beginning.” – Petra Němcová
The team worked in Rio’s slums, through rainfalls and rainforests, in grafitti filled streets, and in local jazz clubs and caffés, to give the photo shoot its authentic Brazilian aroma.
This year’s Pirelli photo shoot isn’t about nude beauties on motorcycles, and YouMotorcycle is ok with that. There are enough pictures of naked women on motorcycles on the internet, and Pirelli wasn’t about that anyway. I’m more interested in seeing what else we can do with motorcycling, cameras, beautiful talented and intelligent women, and scenery. That’s how Wobblycat and I came up with the motorcycle contortionist photo shoot. Props to Pirelli for flexing their financial muscle to support modeling and photography with a cause.
When I first came across the 2013 Pirelli calendar, I knew it was perfect for the Women section of YouMotorcycle. I hope we can all be inspired by these women and their lives both in front of and beyond the camera. Please check out the video, I think you’ll enjoy it.