The unveiling of the annual Pirelli calendar — also known (and trademarked) as "The Cal" — is one of the most highly anticipated releases in the industry, as it typically features top models and an all-star behind-the-scenes team of photographers, makeup artists and stylists. (Although, there's often very little clothing involved.) It's a 12-month mix of sexiness and artistry, but this year, the Pirelli calendar is being revamped with a new class of inspirational women photographed by the legendary Annie Leibovitz.
As confirmed by Pirelli, the final lineup includes 13 female musicians, actresses, writers, models, artists, filmmakers, finance executives and philanthropists handpicked by Leibovitz: Tavi Gevinson, Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Yoko Ono, Fran Lebowitz, Patti Smith, Natalia Vodianova, Kathleen Kennedy, Yao Chen, Mellody Hobson, Ava DuVernay, Agnes Gund and Shirin Neshat. In a statement released by the Pirelli team, Leibovitz explained her vision and direction for next year's release:
"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."
Leibovitz also worked on the Pirelli calendar in 2000, which makes her one of 10 photographers who have shot two editions since its debut in 1964, as well as one of only four female photographers who have lensed it.
Last year, Steven Meisel produced a pin-up themed calendar with models like Anna Ewers and Gigi Hadid; the upcoming 2016 edition will be a far cry from The Cal's usual aesthetic. The 43rd edition of the Pirelli calendar will be presented at the Roundhouse in London on Nov. 30, and a digital space dedicated to The Cal will be live on Perelli's website beginning on Oct. 20. In the meantime, check out a few behind-the-scenes images from Leibovitz's shoot below.