The Pirelli calendar is legendary for showcasing some of the most beautiful supermodels in the world. Everyone from Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen, Karen Elson and Jennifer Lopez to Miranda Kerr and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have been photographed for the forty-nine year old tradition – most of them in the nude.
So you can imagine the shock some women must have felt when they got the call earlier this year to partake in the racy calendar.
When Agnes Gund, the 77-year-old philanthropist and president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, got the call, she thought: “That’s odd. What’s that got to do with someone like me?”
When Fran Lebowitz, the 65-year-old author, got the call, she said, “I thought it was a joke.”
And when Mellody Hobson, the 46-year-old president of Ariel Investments, a $10 billion money management firm based in Chicago, got the call, she mentioned it to her husband, the film-maker George Lucas, who raised an eyebrow and said, “Do you know what that is?”
They’re right to be surprised and worried in equal measure – Pirelli has hardly been known in the past for elevating and celebrating strong women.
It would seem, though, that the tides they’re a-changin’ as next year’s calendar is full of athletes, celebrated artists and women who are trailblazers and leaders in their fields. And being photographed by Annie Leibovitz brought out the truth in these women – the very essence of who they are.
Bravo, Pirelli and Viva Beautiful Women!
All pictures courtesy Harpers Bazaar/Annie Leibovitz
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