Every year, an Italian tire manufacturer called Pirelli releases a calendar filled with glossy images of nude supermodels, shot by famous photographers. If you didn't know about this, you're not alone. The NSFW calendars are never available for purchase, but instead gifted by Pirelli to wealthy clients and VIPs.
This year, Pirelli decided to ditch the sexy supermodel theme and feature powerful women on many different career paths. From activists to comedians to athletes, the 2016 Pirelli calendar shows just how bad*ss women can be with their clothes on.
World-renowned portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz, was behind this year's new direction.
"When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past. They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women," Leibovitz 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."
This year's calendar features black and white portraits of comedian and actress Amy Schumer, athlete Serena Williams, author Fran Lebowitz, director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay, writer Tavi Gevinson, artist and activist Yoko Ono, singer-songwriter and artist Patti Smith, model Natalia Vodianova, film producer Kathleen Kennedy, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, and MoMA PS1 Agnes Gund and her granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund.
For the first time ever, each photo of the women featured will be accompanied by a paragraph about themselves and their work.
While Williams and Schumer did strip down to just their underwear, even their photos are remarkably different than the images in previous Pirelli calendars.
"I'm a great admirer of comediennes," Leibovitz said in the press release. "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 loved the photo.
“I felt I looked more beautiful than I’ve ever looked in my life," Schumer said in a promo for the calendar. "And I felt that it looked like me.”
She posted the photo to her social media channels with the caption, "Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman. Thank you."