MAKERS Star as Pirelli's 2016 Calendar Girls in Groundbreaking Photo Shoot
By Steff Yotka
"Perhaps clothed women are going to have a moment," quipped the legendary Fran Lebowitz. The cultural commentator was remarking, in her signature blend of snark and wit, about the 2016 Pirelli calendar, which stars 13 women — 12 of which are clothed — photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
The idea behind the new calendar was to showcase women of all fields and celebrate them for their power, poise, and accomplishments — rather than their naked forms. Included in the portrait series are Fran Lebowitz, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Amy Schumer, Serena Williams, Tavi Gevinson, Ava DuVernay, Yao Chen, Mellody Hobson, Shirin Neshat, Agnes Gund, Kathleen Kennedy, and Natalia Vodianova.
Leibovitz captured each woman in a statuesque black-and-white portrait. Smith is seen mid-motion adjusting her vest; Gevinson gazes out in a moment of reflection; and Gund embraces her granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund. Look closer and you’ll also see that Vogue makes a special appearance.
After photographing Williams for Vogue’s April cover, Leibovitz opted to re-create one of the images of Williams from the back, arms stretched out across a wall, for Pirelli, this time without the Donna Karan dress. The result is Williams in black briefs, her physique on full display. "Serena's image is really a body study. She has an incredible body," Leibovitz said at a press conference. "In fact, if you look at the photograph," she continued, "on the floor is the photograph of Serena in Vogue."
The full series of images in the calendar will be seen only by the lucky few on Pirelli's mailing list, but you can preview six of them here. Wondering who was the one model who went nude? It was Schumer. Leibovitz explained her concept thusly: "It was as if she didn’t get the memo, but if you look at her, that was a true moment; she actually picked up the cup of coffee and started drinking it. That was her coffee, and I said, 'That’s it!'"
Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Pirelli