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Pirelli’s 2016 calendar replaces sexy with influential.

The annual calendar produced by Pirelli tyres has been unveiled, presenting a dramatic shift in subject matter and aesthetic.

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The 43rd edition of Pirelli’s calendar was unveiled in London on Monday and proved to be a significant shift from previous years. The calendar’s signature focus on explicit sexuality pivoted towards portraits featuring inspiring elites from the world of women, shot by award-winning photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“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, 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,” said the iconic photographer, also behind the 2000 Pirelli calendar. In addition to starring a new group of talented and important women, the calendar features a paragraph about each woman’s work and influence alongside their portrait.

The 13 mostly clad women chosen for their achievements, showcased in next year’s calendar are:  Yao Chen, the first Chinese UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador; model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova (January), in a voluptuous satin robe holding her youngest child in her arms; Kathleen Kennedy, the producer of “Lincoln” (February); American philanthropist, art patron and collector Agnes Gund (March); a topless Serena Williams with her back to the camera (April); writer Fran Lebowitz (May); business and financial mogul Mellody Hobson (June); Ava DuVernay, the “Selma” director (July); Tavi Gevinson, the millennial media maven and actress (August); Iranian artist Shirin Neshat (September); activist and artis Yoko Ono (October); musician and author Patti Smith (November); and Amy Schumer (December), in a lingerie with her stomach rolls on display.

Together with Playboy’s decision in to end nudity in its pages, Pirelli´s swing in emphasis seems to confirm the ever-growing theory that we are at an inflection point in the public objectification of female sexuality. Since launching in 1964, the famous Pirelli calendar has been known to top the bill with the likes of a completely naked Kate Moss, Lara Stone and Joan Smalls; Gisele Bündchen, Karen Elson and Carmen Kass playing peekaboo with bottoms and bosoms; and a naked Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Nadja Auermann.

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