The pinup calendar is all grown up. A perennial escape from the workaday world of nuts and bolts, it has become more prestigious year on year for its increasingly upmarket photography and top-end models. Elevating the humble calendar by showcasing its latent creative side, the Pirelli calendar most notably - along with the annual offering from Lavazza, another homespun business - has been much emulated by brands wishing to flex their creative muscle. Even paper-stock merchants like Fedrigoni have got into the calendar-as-art act to exhibit the potential of its product.
To celebrate 20 years producing its calendar, Lavazza commissioned 12 photography legends to turn the camera on themselves. Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, Wallpaper* contributor Miles Aldridge and others came back with a series of wildly distinctive self-portraits that also highlight their love for the coffee. The cover shot, by Ellen von Unwerth, is the only non-meta image, featuring 20-year-old Dutch model and Lavazza spokesperon Valerie van der Graaf.
The Italian coffee company also published a commemorative and rather apropos coffee-table tome, featuring the greatest (and sexiest) hits of calendars past. Cloth-bound, with the spine quirkily detached from the hardcover, 'Con Te Partirò' is published by Rizzoli and 'curated' by Fabio Novembre, with graphic design by Berlin-based 'Onlab'.
Meanwhile Pirelli has pushed the proverbial envelope with its 39th edition, shot by Mario Sorrenti in Corsica. The calendar-cum-collector's item, titled 'Swoon', cast names like Lara Stone, Kate Moss and Milla Jovovich, shot in black and white in all their glory. Rather than spiral-bind the images, Pirelli packaged them loosely in an oversized canvas portfolio, so admirers can remove them separately and mix 'n' match the months.
And finally Fedrigoni: the Italian paper company has embraced quirkiness over glamour for its latest desktop calendar. Each of Fedrigoni's 365 days is printed on its own tactile sheet and equipped with a QR code that, when scanned with your device, recommends a cultural outing for the day, from an architectural walk to a design event.