Saturday, September 23, 2023

Serena Williams & Ava DuVernay to Star in Famed Pirelli Calendar

Top tennis star and recent Nike designer (more on that, here), Serena Williams and director Ava DuVernay is announced as two of the stars in the new edition of the famed Pirelli Calendar.

The annual, luxury and limited edition calendar, which is sent to an undisclosed list of people every year, usually stars supermodels but has taken a new direction, with top fashion photographer enlisted for this year’s edition, Annie Leibovitz explaining;

“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.”

Director, Ava DuVernay
Director, Ava DuVernay

The images were lensed in May this year and won’t be revealed until November 30th, but from the looks of last year’s (see it, here) we’re expecting great things.

Of the women selected, which also includes Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Fran Lebowitz, Tavi Gevinson and more, Ms Leibovitz said;

“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.”

Ava DuVernay is a name on many people’s lips of late, following her directorship of Selma, which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, and lead to the talent even being immortalised via her own Barbie (more on that here) and other top jobs, like the directing the new series of Apple Music ads – the first of which starred Mary J Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson and was unveiled this week (see it, here).

Serena and her grand-slamming bod
Serena and her grand-slamming bod

As for Serena, who continues to add to her list of world records and remains as number 1 in terms of tennis, the world will be looking forward to seeing her on the pages of the new Pirelli calendar, and predictably serving up a strong headshot.

While the final images will be unveiled on November 30th we can see a snippet of Ava DuVernay and Serena Williams on set for their Pirelli Calendar shoot, in the behind-the-scenes video of the shoot below.

Video & image source:,,

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