Serena Williams in 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Serena Williams in 2016 Pirelli Calendar

*Ava DuVernay, Mellody Hobson and a topless Serena Williams are among the powerful women featured in the new 2016 Pirelli Calendar, shot by famed photographer Annie Liebovitz for its 43rd edition released Monday.

Leibovitz, who was given free rein to cast the calendar, said in a press conference, “Pirelli came to me and told me they wanted to shift this year to something different. I made the suggestion that they do women performance artists or women comedians, almost a takeoff. I just thought of women I admired and I didn’t let anyone in the studio from Pirelli. It became a very strong set of very simple portraits. No one was supposed to look like they tried in these pictures.”

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Tennis star Williams is photographed wearing nothing but underwear for the month of April.

Below, set-pics of the photo shoots for Williams, financial mogul Mellody Hobson and director/screenwriter Ava DuVernay:

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Serena Williams in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

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Serena Williams in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

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Ava DuVernay in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

 

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Ava DuVernay in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

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Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Mellody Hobson in photo shoot for 2016 Pirelli Calendar

Rounding out the calendar are Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson, artist/activist Yoko Ono, writer Fran Lebowitz, musician and author Patti Smith, supermodel Natalia Vodianova, chairperson of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy, Chinese actress Yao Chen, art collector and chairman of MoMA PS1 Agnes Gund with granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund, Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat and comedian Amy Schumer, who also went topless.

Pirelli, an Italian company that mainly manufactures tires, shared a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot: