Amy Schumer, Serena Williams & DuVernay Are The Stars Of The 2016 Pirelli Calendar


When it comes to fashion and us, you pretty much know where we stand. We don’t think fashion is evil, but it does have a pretty bad reputation for promoting a very narrow and unrealistic standard of beauty. We need to see more models of color, different sizes, ages and genders on the pages of magazines, on runways and in advertising.

While we wait for the scales to balance out in favor of all body types in the industry (coz hey, no woman should be told “this is what your body should look like, shame on you for not being a size 0”) we are more than happy to promote the positive steps being made in the name of diversity.

Let’s take the iconic Pirelli calendar, for instance. The annual calendar is seen as a fashion milestone for many photographers and models because of its portrayal of nude women…for a tire company. Yep, we too are confused, go figure!


But over the past few years there has been a bit of a changing of the guard, where we have seen National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry shooting an edition (as opposed to a high fashion photographer) and all the models used in that particular year were fully clothed and placed the focus on the country of what charity they work for is helping. What a brilliant way to combine fashion and philanthropy!

In 2014 the calendar made history by finally including a plus size model, Candice Huffine, which was a smart move on behalf of the Italian brand because in case you haven’t noticed, plus size models have firmly staked their claim in the fashion world by becoming a billion dollar clothing market. Any brand or company that chooses to exclude the plus size market is essentially losing money.


Well just when we thought it was two times a fluke, along comes new of the 2016 Pirelli Calendar which is once again set to buck its tradition of featuring completely nude supermodels…to sell tires. Yeah, we’re still little weirded out by that you guys! This time around they will be promoting women’s achievements, by featuring a very eclectic group including an Oscar-nominated director, an Emmy Award-winning comedian, an icon, an author, an actress, a blogger, a tennis champ, and one model for good measure.

The 2016 calendar was shot by iconic fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz and here are the women we can look forward to seeing: Ava DuVernay, Amy Schumer, Tavi Gevinson, Patti Smith, Serena Williams, Yoko Ono, Chinese actress Yao Chen, finance exec Mellody Hobson, major arts patron Agnes Gund, film producer Kathlee Kennedy, artist Shirin Nestat, author Fran Lebowitz, and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova, who we have no doubt is included in the mix more for her work championing the cause of disabled people, and her foundation which advocates for low-income suburban Russian children.


We would go as far as to say this is a feminist edition of the Pirelli Calendar, and they have certainly changed our perceptions about them! Vogue magazine shared a statement from Annie Leibovitz who said her work photographing these particular 13 women for such an iconic fashion shoot wasn’t just a step forward but a giant leap of progression.

Instead of nudity for no particular reason (once again…what do nude models have to do with tires??), this calendar will enable buyers to feast their eyes of a group of women who are shaping the world with their talents, passions and brains.

“I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something. I wanted to make a classic set of portraits. I thought that the women should look strong but natural,” said Annie.

“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,” she added.


Actually, it’s not straightforward in our eyes. You gotta remember, this is an industry that has successfully contributed to the damaging view that women should only be valued for their looks and their bodies. But this is a fashion shoot showing women who are considered beautiful, and sexy and successful for anything but their looks (except maybe Natalia simply because of her line of work as model).

Feminist author Patti Smith, who we think sends a powerful message about femininity and equality in the mix, is hopeful of the reception it will get. Unlike the 70s era which was famous for the birth of the modern women’s rights movement and feminist protests and a time in which Patti Smith grew up, the author said this was more a full circle moment.


“I was very proud that I was asked, and I think that Annie is doing something unique and different, and Pirelli is making a bold move. I look at Annie’s project not as a protest, but as a celebration,” she said.

Blogger and actress Tavi Gevinson was thrilled to be part of such an important shoot.

“I’m honored. I think it’s amazing to be a part of this group of women who are being celebrated for so many different things in something that’s traditionally celebrating one thing—which is also great!”

The calendar will be available on November 30, but in the meantime you can see a behind-the-scenes video below and catch glimpses of Amy Schumer, Ava DuVernay, Patti Smith and the rest of this amazing group of women who are bringing a message of empowerment, independence and success to the Pirelli Calendar.



  1. Pingback: This Calendar Will Challenge Your Idea Of What A Feminist Is Supposed To Look Like

  2. Pingback: Annie Leibovitz's New Portraits Exhibition Showcases The World's Most Notable Women - GirlTalkHQ

  3. Pingback: Ava DuVernay & Oprah Talk "Queen Sugar", Black Lives Matter, And Normalizing Inclusion - GirlTalkHQ

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