Pirelli is one of the largest and well known tire companies in the world, creating the performance tires for elite machines in both the automotive and motorcycle world. But they're also known for something else: calendars.

Pirelli's annual calendar continues to evolve for 2017 with this year's photographer, Peter Lindbergh, taking the limited-edition art piece "Emotional" in a new direction. This year's calendar continues to celebrate women's beauty, only this time with a focus on internal beauty.

Lindbergh opted for the title "Emotional" to encapsulate the theme for the shoot, which was "to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked."

Pirelli Calendar
Nicole KidmanPeter Lindbergh

"In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility..."

"My aim was to portray women in a different way", says Lindbergh, "and I did it by calling in actresses who've played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos. As an artist, I feel I'm responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can't be attained."

Pirelli Calendar
Robin WrightPeter Lindbergh

The 2016 and 2017 Pirelli calendar have marked a pretty dramatic shift from the previous years' calendars, which were often full of semi-naked models.

For 2016, Annie Leibovitz photographed a portrait series of various women known for their work in a variety of fields. It offered an interesting, albeit more aggressively feminist-feeling take on the famed calendar. It screamed in the face of the 2015 calendar, celebrating women for their excellence fields outside of beauty.

But, as a man who loves women both inside and out (including the really pretty ones), the images made me feel more guilty than excited. This industry especially needs to re-work the way we portray women, but I don't know if it's through beating people over the head with it.

Pirelli Calendar
Julianne MorePeter Lindbergh

For some reason, Lindbergh's softer take on this similar message is so much more appealing and inviting. The images are warm, the lighting is beautiful, and you can sense the connection between the photographer and photographee.

Instead of trying to make a bold or controversial statement, it appreciates some of culture's most iconic women for the beauty within. It doesn't play the "we're just as good in the same arenas" game, but elevates the discussion to, "we're special for reasons you haven't even fully grasped yet." It's genius and it's beautiful.

This little Pirelli video on the project highlights more of the women in the calendar and does a great job at capturing its spirit.

Bravo to Pirelli for turing the tradition of this calendar into something truly interesting. We can't wait to see what you do next year.

For more info on the calendar, head to Pirelli's dedicated site for it here: pirellicalendar.pirelli.com