Pirelli 2016's New Direction w/ Tavi, Yoko, & Patti Smith

The leaves are falling, the pumpkin spice flavor is flowing, and autumn is finally in full swing, which can only mean one thing: the Pirelli Calendar is just around the corner. In the most mismatched art moment of the year, the Pirelli tire company releases its coveted calendar to its VIPs and important clients. The limited print has become a mark of status for not only its recipients, but those featured in it’s production. Faces like Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell have graced its pages in some of the sexiest and most provocative images in their portfolios. Being photographed by legends like Nick Knight, Terry Richardson, and Peter Lindbergh, this year’s pictorial presence is none other than Annie Leibovitz – who also shot the gorgeous 2000 calendar that focused on snippets of different body types.


However, Leibovitz has taken this calendar in a different in this iteration. While the annual print collection has always kept a distinct sensual vibe (every word in this sentence links to an NSFW pic!), this year’s photographer is using portraits of women changing world with more than just their flawless faces. Leibovitz released behind-the-scenes shots and saying:

“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something. 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.”


The all star cast of models includes Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Serena Williams, Fran Lebowitz, Amy Schumer, Tavi Gevinson, Ava DuVernay, Natalia Vodianova, Agnes Gund, Kathleen Kennedy, Mellody Hobson, Shirin Neshat, and Yao Chen. From actresses, directors, athletes and powerhouse business women – the photographer has left no cultural stone unturned with her invitations.  This marks a very distinct directional change for the print, and perhaps reveals a larger shift in societal views of women.


Her longtime model muse Patti Smith commended the artist, saying, “I look at Annie’s project not as a protest, but as a celebration.”

The calendar has been providing intimate and sexy portraits since 1964, and we’ve loved every iconic image born from it. However, it’s fantastic to see a new direction being taken for the trade that celebrates the accomplishments of women, as well as their beauty!


Photos via Annie Leibovitz Studio

Portrait of Annie Leibovitz by Azzurro Due

Be sure to stay tuned for the 2016 Pirelli Calendar coming November 20th

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