Amy Schumer, Patti Smith and Yoko Ono welcome in a new era for the revamped calendar
The 2016 Pirelli Calendar has been revealed – only, it’s not at all what we were expecting. In a good way.
The 43rd edition line-up has been revealed today and it stars 13 empowered women, handpicked by iconic photographer, Annie Leibovitz. Breaking with tradition (past models have included the likes of Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen and Lara Stone) next year’s new recruits are a diverse collection of real women we can all relate to.
Leibovitz’s picks include: Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy, tennis player Serena Williams, musicians Patti Smith and Yoko Ono, comedian Amy Schumer, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat and writer Fran Lebowitz.
If anyone is in need of a brief recap, for 50 years Pirelli – an Italian tires manufacturer – has created sensational (often nude) calendars for their VIP clients. This time, however, they’ve gone for a different approach. How so, we here you ask? Well, it’s one that involves clothes for starters…
‘When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past,’ Leibovitz says. ‘They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women. 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.’
The result is not only visually spectacular – but, more importantly, seems to suggest a new way of thinking in a post nude-Playboy world. Not only are the women here of all different ages – which is a slam dunk in the face of ageism – they’ve all been picked for their outstanding professional achievements, not their physical attributes.
And then there are the classic black and white photographs themselves – women who are powerfully at the centre and fully in command of their own bodies. As Leibovitz jokes: ‘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 sums up the honest feel of Leibovitz’s portraits by adding: ‘I felt I looked more beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. And I thought it looked like me.’
Are times finally a-changing? Will the male gaze finally be dropkicked in 2016? One calender won’t do it alone…but maybe, just maybe, it’s a start…