Go behind the scenes: Annie Leibovitz shoots Patti, Serena, Tavi, Yoko and more in new Pirelli Calendar

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There’s something different about the new Pirelli Calendar. Famed for its portrayal of top models baring flesh in exotic locales, the exclusive annual planner has decided to head in an entirely different direction for 2016.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz will be directing her lens at women who aren’t just known for looking incredible in a bikini.

Among the pages? Activist and avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, teen media mogul Tavi Gevinson, 21 Grand Slam title holder Serena Williams, goddess of punk Patti Smith, writer Fran Lebowitz, comedian Amy Schumer, director Ava DuVernay, model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, philanthropist and art collector Agnes Gund, producer Kathleen Kennedy, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, plus Chinese movie star and environmentalist (and Weibo’s most-followed user) Yao Chen; and all-star rollcall of women changing society today.

The decision to cast non-models in a wide age range has been described by the company as a “radical and inspirational departure from previous years” and “a calendar of our time”.

“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,” Leibovitz said in a release. “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.”

We can’t wait to see the final product (or at least images of it online) when it’s unveiled on November 30, but until then have a peek behind the scenes.

 

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