On fire

European red-heads pose for one of the world’s sexiest calendars

Red Hot calendar
Some of this year’s Red Hot models (Photo: Thomas Knights)

The annual Red Hot calendars were launched with a party in London on Thursday night.

The Red Hot concept originated in 2013. Acclaimed fashion photographer Thomas Knights wanted to shoot portraits celebrating the beauty of red hair.

As a red-head himself, he was all too aware of how people with ginger are often mocked, bullied or stereotyped.

(Photo: Thomas Knights)

The ensuing exhibition proved so popular that it turned into an on-going project. A book, Red Hot 100, was published.

Exhibitions followed in New York, Sydney and Amsterdam, and around £60,000 has been raised for anti-bullying charities and other causes.

(Photo: Thomas Knights)

There’s been an annual calendar each year since. For 2020, there are two editions: One is entitled Red Hot European Boys, and was shot in the Ibiza, off the coast of Spain.

It features a dozen of the hottest ginger guys from across Europe: Spain, The Netherlands, France, Scotland, Denmark, and Italy.

Many of the men are featured butt naked: we’re showing you the less-explicit images!

“Being born ginger, you are immediately part of the world’s smallest minority,” says Knights in a statement. “This comes with a unique set of challenges but inevitably you learn to accept your difference and then value it.

(Photo: Thomas Knights)

“What was once the thing you liked the least about yourself growing up, becomes the main part of your identity; it becomes your calling card. You end up loving being different, standing out and getting noticed.

“What was your perceived weakness becomes your strength. Once you own your difference, everything changes and you become unstoppable.”

A cropped detail of one of the calendar’s images (Photo: Thomas Knights)

The other is entitled Red Hot C*cks, a full-frontal calendar raising money for a testicular cancer charity and “shining a light on one of the world’s last taboos – ginger pubes,” Knights told Queerty.

(Photo: Thomas Knights)

Some of the proceeds from the European Boys calendar are going to the UK’s sexual health charity, Terrence Higgins Trust.

“I have been working closely with THT closely over the last few years shooting their ‘It Starts With Me’ HIV awareness advertising campaigns. They’re an amazing charity and I wanted to give something back,” says Knights.