Tavi & Amy Schumer Are Transforming One Of The World's Legendary Nudie Calendars

Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEImages/ Rex USA.
It’s a major moment for the Pirelli calendar: For the 2016 edition, the women featured were selected not for their looks alone, but for their accomplishments — and they’re actually wearing clothes this time around. Tavi Gevinson, Amy Schumer, Yoko Ono, Serena Williams, and Patti Smith are among this year’s unexpected calendar girls. Also featured in the calendar: writer Fran Lebowitz, Selma director Ava DuVernay, major arts patron Agnes Gund, film producer Kathleen Kennedy, finance exec Mellody Hobson, artist Shirin Neshat, and actress Yao Chen. There is one model in the mix — Natalia Vodianova, who was also featured in last year’s calendar — though she was presumably included because of her charity work.

Why is this a big deal? The project is usually an ultra-sexy annual celebration of hot models — and other famous people with model-y physiques — wearing the least amount of clothing possible, often in sexy, pin-up inspired poses. (Check out the 2015 calendar for NSFW evidence.)

“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something...This calendar is so completely different. It is a departure,” Leibovitz said to Vogue. “The idea was not to have any pretense in these pictures and be very straightforward.”

The impressive, surprising crew of women selected were shot by Annie Leibovitz. She hasn’t lensed a Pirelli calendar for 15 years, though her shots for her last calendar were pretty tasteful takes on nudity; other photographers who’ve shot for the Italian tire company’s annual calendar over the past 43 years include Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, Karl Lagerfeld, Richard Avedon, and Herb Ritts.

In 2005, Demarchelier included a man — Tyson Beckford — in the calendar and last year, a plus-size model was included for the first time. Those were both departures from the supermodels (and to a lesser degree, gorgeous female celebrities) that have typically filled the calendar. It’s a dramatic redirection for a long-running, high-fashion project that produces beautiful, provocative imagery and is on any model's career bucket list. But since the aesthetic changes a ton with each photographer, this could be a one-off departure from overt sexiness. What if Pirelli continued to cast women for their accomplishments in lieu of their curves beyond 2016? It's unlikely, but hey, maybe one day...
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