From the forward of the calendar, Yao Chen

by Maria Sofou

Since 1964, the Italy-based tire company Pirelli & C. SpA has photographed some of the world’s most beautiful and popular models for its annual limited edition pin-up calendar, widely known as ‘The Cal’, becoming a trademark for western culture, inacessible luxury and female stereotypes.

For its 2016 edition, though, the Cal looks nothing like we were used to: shot by Annie Leibovitz, the calendar features Yoko Ono, Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Patti Smith, Rookie Magazine‘s Tavi Gevinson, actress Yao Chen, director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay, artist Shirin Neshat, model Natalia Vodianova, author Fran Lebowitz, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, film producer Kathleen Kennedy, and MoMA PS1 Agnes Gund and her granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund. In a radically different approach, 2016’s calendar for the first time does not feature provocative posing but clothed women, chosen for their achievements and not their measurements.

“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something,” Leibovitz explained in a statement. “I wanted to make a classic set of portraits. I thought that the women should look strong but natural and I decided to keep it a very simple exercise of shooting in the studio. This calendar is so completely different. It is a departure. The idea was not to have any pretense in these pictures and be very straightforward.”

January, Natalia Vodianova


February, Kathleen Kennedy


March, Agnes Gund, right, and Sadie Rain Hope-Gund


April, Serena Williams


May, Fran Lebowitz


June, Mellody Hobson


July, Ava Duvernay


August, Tavi Gevinson


September, Shirin Neshat


October, Yoko Ono


November, Patti Smith


December, Amy Schumer