Pirelli calendar swaps naked models for 'strong and inspirational' women

Serena Williams
Image caption Serena Williams has confirmed she is taking part

The next Pirelli calendar will feature "strong" women instead of fleshy naked shots of supermodels.

The company has confirmed the 2016 edition will show portraits of "inspirational" females from artists to athletes.

American photographer Annie Leibovitz, who's behind the shoot, described it as a "departure" from recent years.

In a preview clip Serena Williams, Yoko Ono and feminist hero Patti Smith are seen taking part.

Patti Smith
Image caption Patti Smith says she was "surprised" to be asked to feature in the calendar

Annie Leibovitz explained: "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 pretence in these pictures and be very straightforward."

Instead of the usual models like Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima, who have previously featured, this year's calendar will show photos of Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Serena Williams, American author Fran Lebowitz, Amy Schumer, Tavi Gevinson, Selma director Ava DuVernay, American philanthropist Agnes Gund, blockbuster producer Kathleen Kennedy, Natalia Vodianova, American businesswoman Mellody Hobson, Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, and Chinese actress Yao Chen.

Gigi Hadid
Image caption Gigi Hadid is one of the models who won't feature in next year's Pirelli calendar
Annie Leibovitz
Image caption Photographer Annie Leibovitz wanted to photograph women who have achieved "something"

When asked in Vogue about how next year's new calendar and winning formula of 50 years would go down, Patti Smith said: "I have no idea what the average recipient would think, but I think that they should appreciate a bold move. We'll see.

"I was very surprised that I was asked, and I was very proud that I was asked, and I think that Annie is doing something unique and different, and Pirelli is making a bold move.

"I look at Annie's project not as a protest, but as a celebration."

Tavi Gevinson
Image caption Nineteen-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson has been chosen to appear

Serena Williams has already confirmed her involvement on Twitter.

The Pirelli calendar started in 1964 and is published yearly.

It is famous for being exclusive, as it is only given as a gift to important Pirelli customers and celebrity VIPs.

Follow @BBCNewsbeat on Twitter, BBCNewsbeat on Instagram, Radio1Newsbeat on YouTube and you can now follow BBC_Newsbeat on Snapchat