Considering the 2015 version of the iconic Pirelli calendar was a fetish-themed shoot starring some of the world's most famous models (think Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, Gigi Hadid, Isabeli Fontana) in various stages of undress, it may come as a surprise to learn the 2016 version is very different.
Shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz who also shot the 2000 calendar, Leibovitz decided instead of shooting a bevvy of barely dressed supermodels, the 2016 calendar would star influential women focusing on strength and power rather than sex appeal.
13 women of differing ages, backgrounds and bodyshapes star in the new calendar: artist Yoko Ono, singer Patti Smith, tennis player Serena Williams, writer Fran Lebowitz, actress Amy Schumer, blogger Tavi Gevinson, film director Ava DuVernay, model Natalia Vodianova, art collector Agnes Gund, producer Kathleen Kennedy, business woman Mellody Hobson, artist Shirin Neshat, and actress Yao Chen are the 13 chosen stars of the new calendar.
Pirelli Calendar 2016
The women, all included for making a difference in their varied fields of work are pictured in a range of poses. Tennis player Serena Williams and actress Amy Schumer dared to bare, both women opting to showcase their differing body shapes in semi-nude shots.
On Schumer's portrait Leibovitz commented:
“I’m a great admirer of comediennes. The Amy Schumer portrait added some fun. It’s as if she didn’t get the memo saying that she could keep her clothes on.”
Schumer herself had this to say on the image "I felt I was more beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my life." She also shared the image to her 2.6 million followers on twitter:
65 year old writer Fran Lebowitz told the New York Times that on receiving the call to take part, she thought "it was a joke."
On being approached to shoot the calendar and choosing a different direction for 2016, Leibovitz said:
“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something. I wanted to make a classic set of portraits. I thought that the women should look strong but natural and I decided to keep it a very simple exercise of shooting in the studio." Explained Leibovitz.
"This calendar is so completely different. It is a departure. The idea was not to have any pretense in these pictures and be very straightforward.”
The Pirelli calendar is now in its 62nd year, the trade publication is produced in limited quantities and available only to a select group of VIP recipients.
Despite being photographed by some of the world's best photographers from Steven Meisel to Karl Lagerfeld, it's attracted criticism in recent years for being outdated.
This 2016 version has been praised for being a groundbreaking step away from objectifying women.