It's time to celebrate all women.
Pirelli, which is the world's fifth largest tire manufacturer, produces an annual calendar that is presented as a gift to an exclusive group of “V.I.P.'s, musicians, politicians and royalty.” The Pirelli calendar usually features scantily-clad supermodels, but this year the calendar's concept is very different. Acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the 43rd edition of the calendar, which made its debut in 1964, and her simple black and white portraits of famous and talented women like Amy Schumer and Serena Williams are both empowering and diverse.
“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something,” Leibovitz stated. “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. 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.”
Pirelli approached Leibovitz with the intention to create something different, so she suggested a group of distinguished women whose inclusion would make a swift and poignant departure from the calendar's traditional approach. "I'm a great admirer of comediennes," Leibovitz said. "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."
The portrait of Williams does a fantastic job of celebrating the iconic tennis player's top form and natural beauty.
Leibovitz also shot Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Fran Lebowitz, Tavi Genvison, and Natalia Vodianova for the 2016 Pirelli calendar. “The goal was to be very straightforward. I wanted the pictures to show the women exactly as they are, with no pretense,” Leibovitz added.