Amy Schumer graces the 2016 Pirelli Calendar. She's one of 13 'women of achievement'  photographed instead of nude models. (Photo: Annie Lebovitz)

Amy Schumer graces the 2016 Pirelli Calendar. She’s one of 13 ‘women of achievement’ photographed instead of nude models. (Photo: Annie Leibovitz)

The Pirelli Calendar has veered sharply from pinup models into the world of feminist politics. It’s 2016 edition features comedian Amy Schumer, tennis ace Serena Williams, ’70s rocker Patti Smith and 10 other “women of achievement.” They largely keep their clothes on.

The calendar is a far cry from its origins.

It began in 1964 as a promotional gift for the Italian tiremaker’s best customers. It was destined to be hung up on garage walls. For more than four decades it featured glamorous nude supermodels photographed in exotic locales.

The full calendar was revealed today (Nov 30) in London.

But this isn’t the first to feature mostly clothed subjects. That honor goes to the 2013 calendar.

Pirelli Calendar Girls for 2016
(Click Photos to Enlarge!)

Steve McCurry, a well-known National Geographic photojournalist, shot the edition. When he told the girls no nudity, some were disappointed, he recalled.

It featured such well-known subjects as Karlie Kloss, Summer Rayne, Isabeli Fontana and a beautifully pregnant Adriana Lima.

Imagine how Pirelli’s customers felt. Or how they feel now?

But the latest edition has another new twist. Photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the edition and chose as her subjects women with distinguished backgrounds representing all age groups.

Her subjects also include Yoko Ono, Tavi Gevinson, Ava DuVernay, Natalia Vodianova, Agnes Gund, Kathleen Kennedy, Mellody Hobson, Shirin Neshat and Yao Chen. Several are far from household names.

Leibovitz explained the concept this way:

“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.”

She certainly accomplished her mission. But the guys in the garage may not see it quite the same way.

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