When the iconic Playboy Enterprises announced the launch of its clubs in Goa, India in November, the big question on fans’ minds was what the Playboy bunny costume would be. This was unveiled at a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday. The famous corset has been tweaked with an allusion to sari and paired with a translucent ankle-length skirt. But the other trademark paraphernalia, like the ears, bow tie and tail, remain. The new sheer corsets do not follow the traditional, skimpier Playboy Bunny uniform, in that sheer panelling has been added.
But even with the culturally-cognizant design, some fear the costumes mark a slippery slope and that opening the Playboy club would encourage debaucherous and vulgar behavior.
The change in the costume, designed by US-based Mohini Tadikonda ‘keeping in mind Indian sensibilities’ is a first for Playboy, its executive vice-president and chief revenue officer Matthew Nordby said. Playboy, which has its origins in the magazine founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953, inked a deal with its India licensee PB Lifestyle India in November to open at least 120 outlets over the next 10 years.
The outlets include clubs, bars and cafes. The first club is coming up on the Candolim beach in Goa by March, which will be followed by another one in Hyderabad. Playboy bunnies with Playboy executive president Mathew Nordby (left) and Sanjay Gupta, chief executive of PB lifestyle. ‘We plan to have eight clubs in four years and 49 bars in seven years,’ said Sanjay Gupta, chief executive, PB Lifestyle. The firm, which will play a royalty to Playboy, has targeted an investment of Rs 200 crore over the next seven years. ‘With our various formats, we are looking at all kinds of target audience,’ Gupta said. But fans looking to see Indian women in the bunny costume are in for disappointment as for now the bunnies will all be foreigners.
- Playboy club coming to India – but no ‘bunnies’ (theelefunt.com)
- Playboy Bunny Makeover for India Opening (nytimes.com)
- India to get Playboy Club in Goa (bbc.co.uk)
- India gets ready for first Playboy club, with bunnies (ndtv.com)
- Playboy Clubs to enter India, without the bunny costumes (vancouverdesi.com)
- India to get first Playboy Club in Goa (updatednews.ca)
- Playboy Clubs to mushroom in India, bunny costumes to expose no tail of nudity (rt.com)
- Playboy hops to India (dawn.com)
- India’s first Playboy club adapts to modest norms (rawstory.com)
- Coming Soon To India: Playboy Bunnies (wnyc.org)