Sometimes its nice to revisit old projects. One of my favorites from my time working at AsiaLIFE magazine in Saigon has got to be our classic Vespa pinup shoot. The idea was simple. Track down some classic Vespa pinup images and recreate them with vinage inspired clothing, classic hairstyles, classic vespas adn lambrettas and cool vintage looking locations around Saigon.

The inspiration came from, obviously, classic vespa pinup calendar photos. But there is a little more to the history of the calendar that most people know.

The first calendar was produced in 1951 and featured not only the vespa models released that year, But also a classic Pinup style woman along side it. By classic I mean the drawn style, Not photographed. Think the old school stuff that used to be on the side of WWII Bomber aircraft.
Here is a little sample from the first Calendar. You can find more info about them and more of these photos over at

For our Calendar shoot however, We wanted to go with a more “60’s style. The real heyday of the Vespa. So we enlisted our good friends at the Saigon Scooter Center as they had Looooooooots of classic Vespas and Lambrettas for us to shoot with.

The next problem was sourcing the models. Back in the early days of Asialife magazine we didn’t have much for budget (in fact.. we usually had no budget) so calling up friends and colleagues for favours was the number one way to get people for our shoots. At one point I think almost every person I knew in Saigon modeled for a shoot for me in one way or another.

So, Models sourced, clothes found, make up and hair stylist roped in. We set about recreating some classic Vespa Calendar photos. We tried to stay as close to the originals as possible. But, we weren’t in Italy.. or Europe. So we did the best with what we were given.

Here are some of the inspiration images we worked with.

And Finally, after all that wonderful reading. The shots we made.

Cover of the Asialife magazine issue featuring our Vespa Lambretta calendar shoot
Classic Vespa Calendar Pinup Project – Lisa
Classic Vespa Calendar Pinup Project – Cathy
Classic Vespa Calendar Pinup Project – Nhung
Classic Vespa Calendar Pinup Project – Anne
Classic Vespa Calendar Pinup Project – Anne #2

All in all, easily one of my favourite shoots of my career to date. In fact. I have been debating with myself to make some more. Mainly because there are so many beautiful locations here in Hoi An to work with and it would be a lot of fun to make it happen all over again.

If you want to find out more about the Vespa or Lambretta Calendars you should hop over to or for more info. If you want a little history on the calendar pop over here for a nice little timeline infographic.

What do you think, Should we make another set? Perhaps do our own calendar?