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Vanity Fair, Hollywood Issue

Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair hasn't done a cover like this in 15 years—and it's perfect timing. 

Sparked by outcries from some of Hollywood's most identifiable names—George Clooney, Will Smith, and Lupita Nyong'o to name a few—the lack of diversity within the American film and television industry has struck a chord with many of the country's favored on-screen faces. 

As a serendipitous response to the current conversation, Vanity Fair's annual "Hollywood" issue presents 13 wide-ranging female faces, illuminating the arguably untapped variety of women in the industry today. 

From 78-year-old Oscar winner and American classic Jane Fonda to Irish newcomer Saoirse Ronan, this year's cover features stars who vary in age, race, ethnicity, experience and medium. Whether they've made 92 films, like one of this year's Oscar nominees, 69-year-old Charlotte Rampling, or have achieved rapid success like Hollywood newcomer, 27-year-old Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, the women are individually continuing to break the rules of what it means to be an actress in modern film and television. 

Alicia Vikander, SAG Awards 2016, Winners

Vince Bucci/Invision/AP

Photographed by the boundary-bending Annie Leibovitz, the women are dressed uniformly in black gowns—though they couldn't be more different. 

"The dresses on the cover are all black because that lets each actress's face stand out—faces that are expressive, and in many cases even transformative," Jessica Diehl, the magazine's fashion and style director, said in a statement. 

In a foreboding twist of fate, the cover was shot in October before any nominations had been announced, according to Jane Sarkin, the magazine's features editor. 

With 35 Oscar nominations tallied between them, this year's women are clearly an award-winning choice. 

The issue is available on newsstands nationwide on Feb. 8.