Haters be damned, Serena Williams just keeps on winning. After an impressive season on the courts, the 34-year-old tennis star is closing out the year with a satisfying look at her best, ahem, assets as she joins the ranks of this year’s esteemed models photographed for the 2016 Pirelli Calendar.
In her portrait, Williams goes topless. She pivots her body against a gray studio wall to show off her impossibly toned back and glutes, which are covered by a simple pair of black high-waist briefs. The Italian tire company said it wanted to shine a light on 13 women “of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment.” Among them are Williams, director Ava DuVernay, comedian Amy Schumer and artist-activist Yoko Ono, each photographed by renowned photog Annie Leibovitz.
(Photos from left: Annie Leibovitz / Pirelli Calendar 2016)
All 13 portraits share a black-and-white aesthetic that gives the viewer a raw, in-the-moment kind of vibe we can’t help but appreciate. The Pirelli calendar is known for showcasing its models in the nude, yet this year, barring Williams’s bare back and Schumer’s sheer panty moment, the models are dressed casually, as we’d imagine they would be in their private lives.
Leibovitz said of this year’s direction, “When Pirelli approached me, they said they wanted to make a departure from the past. They suggested the idea of photographing distinguished women. After we agreed on that, the goal was to be very straightforward. I wanted the pictures to show the women exactly as they are, with no pretense.”
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