The 2016 Pirelli Calendar has arrived sporting a very different look, ditching previous years' naked models for 13 women who are celebrated more for their professional accomplishments than their beauty.

Reigned in by Annie Leibovitz, who directed and shot the pictures, the women gracing next year’s Pirelli Calendar are self-professed “real women” ranging from writers to artists, athletes to social commentators - all distinguished in their fields.

This impressive ensemble includes; Fran Lebowitz, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Amy Schumer, Serena Williams, Tavi Gevinson, Ava DuVernay, Yao Chen, Mellody Hobson, Shirin Neshat, Agnes Gund, Kathleen Kennedy, and Natalia Vodianova.

Leibovitz explained Pirelli’s dramatic changes in a promo for the upcoming calendar release, noting that “when Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted a departure from the past.”

"They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women,” said Leibovitz, an American photographer known for her portrait shots.

This startling reinvention of the Calendar has been well received, with many believing it marks a significant cultural shift in the representations of women. The pictures are captured entirely in black and white, with most of the women fully clothed.

The most crowd-pleasing portraits have been of Schumer and Williams, both of whom are avid defenders of realistically representing women in the media. Both also made the decision to showcase their real uncovered bodies in their portraits - a picture Schumer proudly posted on her Instagram account:

The 2016 Pirelli Calendar marks the end of a year where gender inequalities have been at the forefront of discussion, particularly that of the gender pay gap, and the departure from simply idolising models to celebrating the accomplishments of women hints at the changing discourse around women and their importance.

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