Amy Schumer, Serena Williams, Tavi Gevinson, and others posed for Annie Leibovitz in a re-interpreted version of the modern pinup.
The Pirelli Calendar—an annual limited edition “art item” released by the Italian tire company—looks a little different this year. Usually filled with photographs of nude or barely clothed models, this year’s edition, shot by V.F. contributing photographer Annie Leibovitz, features 12 studio portraits of women renowned for their work in diverse fields—including comedy, sports, philanthropy, and art. Another notable departure from the Pirelli norm is that Leibovitz is the only woman—aside from husband-and-wife duo Inez and Vinoodh, in 2007—to have photographed the calendar in over 25 years.
Of all the accomplished women featured—Serena Williams; Yao Chen; Patti Smith; Amy Schumer; Yoko Ono; investor Mellody Hobson; Fran Lebowitz; Agnes Gund and her granddaughter; director Ava DuVernay; artist Shirin Neshat; producer Kathleen Kennedy; blogger and actress Tavi Gevinson; model Natalia Vodianova and one of her young children—only Williams and Schumer are shown in their underwear.
In the December photo (perfect for the year’s grand finale), Schumer poses casually in lingerie and heels, holding a coffee cup with a lipstick stain and giving the camera an irreverent look that says, “Um, can I help you?” During a press conference, Leibovitz said, “The idea was that she was the only one who had not got the memo about wearing clothes.” Schumer posted the photo on her Instagram, with the caption “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman. Thank you Annie Leibovitz!”
In a behind-the-scenes video aired at the press conference, Fran Lebowitz quipped, “Perhaps clothed women are going to have a moment.”
Jennifer Zimmerman, the global chief strategy officer for the McGarryBowen advertising agency, told The New York Times: “Between the first credible woman presidential candidate, all the powerful female characters on television from ‘Supergirl’ to ‘Madam Secretary’ to ‘Scandal,’ the pressure for parity in pay, it is impossible to ignore the empowerment of women. Besides, who uses a calendar anymore? It has to stand for something else.”