The 2016 Pirelli Calendar was shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz

‘When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past. They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women,’ said Leibovitz.

‘After we agreed on that, the goal was to be very straightforward.

‘I wanted pictures to show the women exactly as they are, with no pretence.’

The 2016 Pirelli Calendar shows 13 women of ‘outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment’.

Subjects include tennis player Serena Williams, singer Patti Smith and actress and comedian Amy Schumer.

While the 2016 version is a departure from the past, this is not the first time there have been no nudes.

Naked subjects were absent from Steve McCurry’s 2013 Pirelli Calendar and from the one shot by Patrick Demarchelier in 2008, for example.

Leibovitz, who photographed nudes for the 2000 Pirelli Calendar, added: ‘I’m a great admirer of comediennes. The Amy Schumer portrait added some fun. It’s as if she didn’t get the memo saying that she could keep her clothes on.’

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