Pirelli Calendar 2008: Pearls of the Orient

Shanghai (China), 29 November 2007 - Pirelli pays homage to China, with the presentation of its 2008 Calendar in Shanghai.

The thirty-fifth edition of "The Cal", the first ever realized in Asia, is an exceptional visiting card to bring the world of Pirelli to the public of the Orient.

The 2008 Calendar is set entirely in Shanghai: the picturesque streets of the old French Concession, the splendid gardens of the former British Legation, the mysterious and sensual atmosphere of forbidden China, the convulsive Nanjing Road and the characteristic tea houses constitute the background for the camera shots that will grace the coming months.

The twenty-three intense portraits (two for each month; August has just one) recount the pomp of ancient China, with its splendour and the colours in which the Oriental myth of female beauty - perfection, purity, grace - is searched out. "Very often I find Western people seem to go for the more cliché Chinese faces: long hair, slanted eyes. All that has changed I think. Many Chinese women are graceful; I think we have an inner grace that's more rare than you find in the West," affirmed Maggie Cheung, the well-known Chinese actress.

Patrick Demarchelier, the influential maestro of portrait photography, who for the second time authors the celebrated almanac (his first Pirelli Calendar was shot in 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) said: "The casting was a fascinating mix between the West and the Orient: an interesting group of faces."

Shooting last April kept eleven models and actresses occupied for ten days of intense work that involved a troupe of more than 40 people.

The leading ladies of this edition are rising stars such as Agyness Deane and Lily Donaldson (UK), Doutzen Kroes (the Netherlands), Catherine Mc Neil and Gemma Ward (Australia), Sasha Pivovarova (Russia), Coco Rocha (Ireland) and Caroline Trentini (Brazil). The Calendar also features Chinese beauties like Mo Wan Dan and Du Juan and one name in particular stands out: Maggie Cheung, the celebrated actress and Asian beauty, known internationally for her acting in Police Story (1985), Super Cop (1992), Actress (1992), Chinese Box (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000) e Hero (2003).

The official unveiling of the new Calendar occurs just a few days after the opening of the second Pirelli tyre plant in the Shandong Province. China and the other Asian markets are, in fact, the new frontiers for international expansion of the Group, which is investing and growing in order to take advantage of the extraordinary business opportunities in the area.

"The Cal," which has always been an artistic synthesis bringing together innovation, respect for values, and tradition, also expresses Pirelli's capacity to adapt to and integrate different cultures while at the same time affirming the qualities and the glamour of what being Italian is all about.

In late November, the book "The Complete Works: The Pirelli Calendar 1964-2007," published by Mondadori, will be distributed in bookstores worldwide. The book represents an important international publishing event and involves seven foreign co-publishers (Flammarion for France, Schirmer & Mosel for Germany, Rizzoli USA for the US and Canada, Thames & Hudson for the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and other world markets, Magma for Russia, Rebis for Poland, and Slovart for the Czech Republic). The book is the result of a long, meticulous project of research and recovery of original materials. From the sixties to today, the reader takes a passionate excursion through the evolution of fashion, trends, and customs of the last 40 years, in harmony with the evolution of the language of Pirelli's communication.