When Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Yoko Ono and Annie Leibovitz are participating in the Pirelli calendar, something is clearly afoot. The 43rd edition of the 2016 Pirelli Calendar was revealed in full in London recently, the AFP reports. With the Internet already abuzz with the news, Pirelli is proving it is a tire company with a difference.
This most recent exclusive annual publication is the work of the American photography legend Leibovitz, who shot the work last July in her New York studio.
Rather than take the traditional approach of using supermodels and shooting them nude, this year’s calendar features 13 “women of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment”. Stop for a moment and imagine the outrage of what GQ calls “Brains over Boobs…”
From tennis ace Williams to singer Patti Smith and the comedienne Schumer, the calendar’s stars are all making waves in their industries – and will now attract the wrath of Internet trolls. As was the case with the first few calendars of the 1960s and, 2002, 2008 and 2013 versions, there are no nudes. The Independent even calls the 2016 version a “feminist pinup calendar.”
In a further departure from the publication’s previous high-octane glamour, the 2016 calendar captures the women in pared-down black and white photographs taken in Leibovitz’s studio.
“When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past,” Leibovitz says. “They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women. After we agreed on that, the goal was to be very straightforward. I wanted the pictures to show the women exactly as they are, with no pretense.”
The photographer enjoyed the relaxed approach to the project, adding: “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.”
Other women starring in the calendar include Chinese actress Yao Chen, Russian model Natalia Vodianova, producer Kathleen Kennedy, art collector and patroness Agnes Gund, leader, critic and writer Fran Lebowitz, the President of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson, film director Ava DuVernay, blogger Tavi Gevinson, Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat and the performer Yoko Ono.
To mark the launch of the new calendar, Pirelli has also unveiled a new website pirellicalendar.com, featuring video footage and images from the 2016 shoot in addition to material from the archives.