Pirelli Calendar abandons naked supermodels for ‘naked women of achievement’

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Pirelli Calendar abandons naked supermodels for ‘naked women of achievement’

Pirelli, the world’s most exclusive calendars is known to feature glamorous supermodels. But defying tradition, Pirelli for its 43rd edition features 13 women of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment.

Created by celebrated American photographer Annie Leibovitz, the 43rd edition features the likes of Serena Williams, Amy Schumer and Chinese actress Yao Chen.

The calendar which has previously featured Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Isabeli Fontana, celebrates ‘naked women of achievement’ for its latest issue.

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The famed calendar includes Chen, the first Chinese UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador; Russian model Natalia Vodianova for her work as founder of the charity Naked Heart Russia; producer Kathleen Kennedy, the Chairperson of Lucasfilm and one of the most influential figures in Hollywood and art collector and patroness Agnes Gund (with her granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund).

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Russian top model Natalia Vodianova, founder of the charity Naked Heart Russia

President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art in New York is also featured and so is tennis’ number one darling Serena Williams.

Opinion leader, critic and writer Fran Lebowitz; the President of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson, who supports charity projects in Chicago, and film director Ava DuVernay, whose films include Selma, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015, also star in the 43rd edition of Pirelli.

The calendar also features blogger Tavi Gevinson, founder of Style Rookie and online magazine Rookie; Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat; artist, musician, performer and wife of the late John LennonYoko Ono; singer Patti Smith who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of National Book Award for Just Kids (2010) and the actress and stand-up comedian also known as the fiercest woman of the industry, Amy Schumer.

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Legendary singer Patti Smith, 68.

Speaking about the calendar, photographer Leibovitz said: “The 2000 Calendar was an exercise in photographing nudes. It was a simple concept. For 2016, we did something completely different, but it is still simple. It is a classic set of black-and-white portraits made in the studio.”

“When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past. 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.”

“I’m a great admirer of comediennes. 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.”