The 2019 Pirelli Calendar

The Pirelli 2019 Calendar has arrived!! This year’s calendar is a photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one pursuing their dreams and passions. This year’s “Dreaming” calendar is a combination of black and white and color photographs, shot by Albert Watson in New York City and Milan, featuring Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III, and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin.

The Pirelli Calendar, created by British art director Derek Forsyth, has been in annual publication since 1964. This glamour trade calendar is published by Pirelli which is the fifth largest tire manufacturer based out of Milan, Italy. The calendar was given out in restrictive numbers to Pirelli customers and celebrities. The publication was discontinued in 1974 in response to a world recession caused by the oil crisis. The calendar was resurrected ten years later and has been an annual publication since then. Only 20,000 copies are made each year at a cost of $2 million dollars.

There have been some iconic editions of the Pirelli Calendar. In 1987 noted British fashion photographer Terry Donovan shot an all-black issue that featured a 16-year- old Naomi Campbell. There was a second all-black 2018 issue photographed by Tim Walker. There was also the classically half-nude 2010 issue, shot by Terry Richardson.

In a company press release Albert Watson spoke about his inspiration behind the “Dreaming” 2019 calendar and why he chose the subjects for the 2019 calendar. “To make a dream come true, you have to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.”

Watson detailed that the four women in the 2019 calendar focus on the future and “[have their] own individuality, [their] particular purpose in life, and [their] own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of ‘dreams,’ but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies.’

An example of this is the character played by Gigi Hadid, Watson explained. She has recently separated from her partner, lives alone in a glass tower and has Alexander Wang as her only friend and confidant. “I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Gigi Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she is going to go in life, what she will be doing tomorrow. I wanted it to be much more minimalistic than the other women and settings I photographed.”

Julia Garner plays the part of a young photographer who loves nature and solitude. “Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. She played a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.”

Misty Copeland, paired with ABT soloist Calvin Royal III, also looks to the future, fantasizing about making a name in the ballet world. “Trying to be successful is her driving force,” said Watson. “Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.”

All images courtesy of Albert Watson/Pirelli

Lastly, French actress Laetitia Casta portrays a painter who lives in a studio apartment with her partner, Sergei Polunin. They both dream of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. “What’s interesting,” says Watson, “is that, in real life, Laetitia really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork in her spare time. This worked out very well and helped her get into character. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture.”The Pirelli 2019 Calendar is now available for purchase. For more information, go to



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