ultimate pirelli squad: amy schumer, tavi gevinson, yoko ono, patti smith and more

Take your first look at behind the scenes images of Annie Leibovitz’s insanely empowering dream team.

by Emily Manning
23 September 2015, 3:00pm

Earlier this week, we speculated that dream team Annie Leibovitz and Serena Williams might make for the most body positive Pirelli Calendar yet. Yesterday's news -- that Leibovitz also photographed Tavi Gevinson, Patti Smith, and Yoko Ono for her second turn shooting The Cal -- certainly added fuel to that fire. Today, we're excited to give you a behind the scenes peek at what's definitely Pirelli's most empowering and diverse year yet. Leibovitz has also tapped comedian Amy Schumer, satirist Fran Lebowitz, and director Ava DuVernay.

For the past 50 years, the Italian tire manufacturer has typically reserved its ultra-exclusive pages for fashion industry elite (physical copies of the calendar are only sent to celebrities and high profile clients) . Last year, Steven Meisel shot i-D faves Joan Smalls and Anna Ewers, as well as The Cal's first plus size model, Candice Huffine, for one of Pirelli's sexiest efforts to date. But Leibovitz -- who also shot the 2000 Cal using five dancers from the Mark Morris Dance Group -- completely flipped the script for 2016.

"I started to think about the roles that women play, women who have achieved something," Leibovitz said in a statement. And her depiction of achievement is diverse in every sense of the word, from ethnicity to age. There's Shirin Neshat, the award-winning Iranian visual artist; Yao Chen, the Chinese Angelina Jolie; and Agnes Gund, the 77-year-old arts patron. There is only one model in Leibovitz's lot: Russian super Natalia "SuperNova" Vodianova, who's also a formidable philanthropist.

"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," Leibovitz's statement continued. In the behind the scenes shots, we see Yoko striking a pose, Tavi rocking a Girls at Night on the Internet sweatshirt, and Patti signing what might be a copy of her forthcoming memoir, M Train. "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," said Leibovitz.

The 2016 Cal will be officially presented at the Roundhouse in London on November 30th, 2015. 


Text Emily Manning

Behind The Scenes
Yoko Ono
Patti Smith
tavi gevinson
Serena Williams
Annie Leibovitz
Amy Schumer
First Look
natalia vodianova
pirelli calendar
pirelli calender
fran leibowitz
fran lebovitz