Famous for its sexy, artistic nude portraits of each year’s most prominent supermodels and stars (and the roster of world-renowned photographers who shoot it), the Pirelli Calendar has leapt away from what’s expected for its 2016 offering, opting instead to showcase a year of women in a modern, revolutionary, and unconventional version of itself.
This year, Annie Leibovitz was asked to shoot the calendar for the second time (she shot for Pirelli in 2000), and while Pirelli requested she create something revolutionary, Leibovitz was given free reign to select the women she wanted to feature. The resulting cast of calendar stars were selected for their accomplishments, regardless of their appearance, and were shot fully clothed with the exception of three. Serena Williams posed to show off an athletic back, Natalia Vodianova (her youngest child clutched in her arms), was photographed with a single leg escaping a luxurious robe, and Amy Schumer, who, for the sake of comedy, posed almost entirely nude—the joke being that she missed the no-nudes-this-year memo.
For the Italian tire manufacturer that produces the coveted calendar each year, the new direction—to the chagrin of (mostly-male) fans of previous years—makes sense. The luxury car market is no longer a man’s game, and aside from making up nearly half of the western world’s luxury car market, women are also a major influence on the automotive purchases of the men in their lives. It makes sense for the brand to create a calendar that caters to its clientele as a whole, rather than its former much smaller audience.
See the entire lineup of Pirelli’s 2016 calendar stars below.
AGNES GUND, President of the Museum of Modern Art
AMY SCHUMER, Comedian
AVA DUVERNAY, Director
FRAN LEBOWITZ, Writer
KATHLEEN KENNEDY, Chairperson of Lucasfilm
MELLODY HOBSON, President of Ariel Investments and Philanthropist
NATALIA VODIANOVA, Supermodel
PATTI SMITH, Musician
SERENA WILLIAMS, Tennis Player
SHIRIN NESHAT, Visual Artist
TAVI GEVINSON, Actress and Creator of Rookie magazine
YAO CHEN, Actress, and the first Chinese UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador