All calendars mark the passing of time, but those produced by the Italian tyremaker Pirelli, once noted for their soft-porn shots of nude women, have chronicled our changing tastes more than most.
Behind-the-scenes images from the 2020 calendar show photographer Paolo Roversi putting Shakespeare and his heroine Juliet centre stage, featuring acclaimed actresses Emma Watson, Claire Foy and Kristen Stewart.
Roversi shot the calendar, entitled Looking for Juliet, in Paris and Verona, asking each star to present a different side of Romeo’s lover. “It’s lovely to have the narrative behind the still image. I think that makes it a richer image,” said Watson in the launch video. The British actress Mia Goth was photographed, together with the Chinese singer Chris Lee, the American actresses Indya Moore and Yara Shahidi, the Spanish singer Rosalía and the Franco-Italian artist – and Roversi’s daughter – Stella Roversi.
Foy, who played the Queen in the hit Netflix drama The Crown, said: “He’s looking for a 35-year-old Juliet. The idea is that it’s Paolo’s new modern interpretation of her.”
The Pirelli calendar began as an unpublished mock-up in 1963, becoming an annual publication the next year. Created by the British art director Derek Forsyth, it was known for its limited availability. In 1993 the company decided to reinvent the calendar as a high-end art project and in the mid-1990s one campaign featured an image of US sprinter Carl Lewis wearing red stilettos. All references to tyres were dropped.