On Monday, it was announced that Perrelli’s annual calendar isn’t going to be what we always expect – stunning supermodels posing nude or scantily clad. Pirelli gave famed photographer Annie Leibovitz free reign to cast twelve women for the 2016 calendar and she boldly decided to take portraits of accomplished women instead – writers, filmmakers, artists and philanthropists. Included are comedian Amy Schumer, artist/activist Yoko Ono, writer Fran Lebowitz, singer-songwriter Patti Smith, Chinese actress Yao Chen, and Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat. They were all shot in Leibovitz’s studio this past summer.
As the photographer stated in a press conference, “Pirelli came to me and told me they wanted to shift this year to something different. I made the suggestion that they do women performance artists or women comedians, almost a take-off. I just thought of women I admired and I didn’t let anyone in the studio from Pirelli. It became a very strong set of very simple portraits […] No one was supposed to look like they tried in these pictures.” She continued, “I still can’t believe the women who agreed to do it, did it. I felt a big responsibility to that […] It shouldn’t be a big step, but it is a big step.”
Isn’t it refreshing to see accomplished women with real bodies in the Pirelli calendar? The New York Times is saying that it “may signal a cultural shift.” As they wrote, “this is the first time there is no provocation in the posing, and the first time the attraction of the subjects is in their résumés, not their measurements.”
Unfortunately, we can’t purchase a calendar ourselves, an exclusive group of 20,000 “VIPS” (musicians, politicians and royalty) are given it as gifts instead. To get a general feeling of what’s inside, make sure to watch the behind-the-scenes video, below.
Above: Amy Schumer, Fran Lebowitz and Tavi Gevinson.