The Pirelli calendar, a half-century-old tradition, usually features supermodels in pin-up-inspired poses as an advertisement for the Italian tire company. But for the 2016 edition, the photos look a lot different: Only three women are photographed in less-than-full dress.
The photographer, Annie Leibovitz, set out to shoot the women in classic black-and-white portraits. “When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past. They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women,” she said in a press release. “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.”
Leibovitz also shot the 2000 Pirelli calendar—her first set of nudes in her career. But Pirelli has released calendars without nudes before, most recently in 2013, 2008, and 2002.
Serena Williams, for April, posed topless with her back facing the camera, and January’s Natalia Vodianova, a model and philanthropist, posed in a robe, holding her baby with one leg bared. For December, Amy Schumer posed in nothing but her underwear and heels—”It’s as if she didn’t get the memo saying that she could keep her clothes on,” Leibovitz said.
The other women featured in the calendar were the first Chinese UNHCR goodwill ambassador Yao Chen, Lucasfilm chairperson Kathleen Kennedy, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art in New York Agnes Gund, critic Fran Lebowitz, president of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson, Selma director Ava DuVernay, blogger Tavi Gevinson, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, Yoko Ono, and singer-songwriter Patti Smith.