Hairstyle: Georgi Petkov

Photography: Slav Anastasov & Huben Hubenov

Video: Niki Novakov

Models: Peter Stoychev / Franco Garcia / Epifan Pefev

Partners: The Cliff Hotel / Derma Act / Audi


2020 is finally over and now it is time to focus on the next year, which let us hope will be better and more filled with social experiences. After all, we need to at least have some hope for a better tomorrow, right?

What better way to start the year strong than with a beautiful brand new calendar. Remove the old 2020 one, because no one wants to remember those times, and replace it with something cheerful, grand and spectacular to please your eye every morning.

But seek for a calendar in stores no more! Professional hairstylist and artist Georgi Petkov has taken care of that by creating yet again a stunning calendar visual for you – Men 2021! Every year, Petkov initiates this  project in order to create something beautiful that will be remembered in a collaboration with some amazing brands and artists. This year, those were Audi, Derma Act and The Cliff Hotel and we could not have thought of a better collaboration!

Because 2020 was maybe most positive in the summer, Petkov wanted to capture this moment by shooting the calendar photos by the seaside, at the Cliff Hotel to be precise. A wise decision, indeed!

Want to know more behind the scenes facts about the Men 2021 project? We asked Georgi Petkov himself to give us exclusive details on the project and all in all to share his thoughts on the past year. And let us tell you – it was time well spent!

  1. Before we start, how would you describe 2020 in one word if you could?

Restart! It was a moment in time when all of us realized that nothing is certain and everything we have worked hard for can disappear in just a second

2. Did the past year affect you, your work or creativity in any way?

Absolutely! But not in a bad way, do not get me wrong. Even though it might sound as a cliché, 2020 gave me the time to focus on myself, what I want to do both with myself and my work and to spend some time in quiet with my thoughts only. It is amazing how we tend to forget about ourselves and our needs when we are surrounded by people and work all the time. I would say that the past year opened my eyes for many things and helped me start everything all over and make it better.

3. When do you normally start brainstorming ideas for the upcoming calendar?

End of January. I know, I know, it is early indeed, but me and the creative team need to first think through what we want to implement in the upcoming calendar and to most importantly review what we have done over the past 8 years with the previous shoots. From choosing the models and styling, to selecting a location, the process is long, fun and incredibly exciting! It is crucial for me to shoot the Men calendar in a timeless way, so that the photos remain à la mode for many years after.

4. How did you choose the theme for 2021 and what does it represent?

It is a new beginning. All over. The theme focuses on leaving the past behind and creating a better future. I chose it due to all that was happening in the world at the time. People needed to be reminded that all bad things have an end and new, happy and exciting moments are just around the corner after that. To strengthen the idea even more, I like to look the shoot as a futuristic representation of the biblical story about the creation of men in the world. If you can see, for the first time in 8 years, the calendar cover is not black and white and that is because the sunrises at the Cliff Hotel were just too beautiful to not be included in color. Moreover, by looking at the cover photo, you can interpret exactly the creation of the the man, combining earth, water, wind and fire. With this metaphor, I wish to encourage everyone who has doubts if they can start all over again, that it is not only possible, but stunningly beautiful as well. Big thanks to all the models who made those breathtaking images reality!

5. Was the shooting process more difficult than other years, due to the 2020 circumstances?

It was different, not more difficult than other years. After all, due to the fact that our shooting time was at sunrise, we had to shoot more that one day, as opposed to for the previous calendars. The experience this time was absolutely surreal! The Cliff Hotel is one of the few amazing beach paradises left on the Bulgarian coast. I did not want to leave! I would highly recommend that anyone who wants to visit the sea next summer to stay at the Cliff Hotel. I guarantee, it will be time well spent!

6. Now give us your Top 3’s, do not be shy – which are your three most favorite shots from the new calendar and which are your three most favorite months of the year?

I can give you my top four most favorite shots, which will definitely be the cover, January, March and December. As for my favorite months, those will most probably be July, August and September.

7. Which is one special moment from the creative process behind Men 2021 that you will never forget?

Now here I can give you a Top 3 favorite moments, as it is not just one! Firstly, it will be the shoot as it was too beautiful for those five days we were by the sea! Secondly, the selection of the perfect photos for the actual calendar I would say it was pretty exciting as well. Me, Slav and Huben thought we had made the final decision as to which photos are going to be on the calendar, but after a week we redid everything. As I said, this year was all about new beginnings! Last, but not least, I will never forget the moment when I first saw the finished product, with the colorful cover, with which it was love at first sight! I am extremely proud of the hard work we have done!

8. Speaking of 2021, do you feel ready for it? What are your hopes and dreams for the next 365 days of our lives?

I have always seen myself as a very adaptive person, so I would say that it was not that hard for me to shift my way of life over the past moths. Now, I feel excited for 2021, I am eager to see where it will lead us and I hope for the best, of course. One thing I would like to add here is that I am actually grateful that I get to witness this new-come evolution in humanity because of 2020 and that this past year will remain in world history even 1000 years later.

9. Give us one New Year Resolution of yours!

I deeply believe that New Year Resolutions should remain private, if we wish to stick to them, of course!

10. We suppose the answer is obvious, but we are obliged to ask anyways – are we to expect an even more glamorous and breathtaking calendar for 2022?

You bet you are!

See the Video here:

Alya Patterson