The Original Bunny - Page 3 of 5
Hef was hands on about the way his Bunnies looked -- he even
patented their famous outfit. The suit itself showed just enough
skin to be sexy but stay innocent, a visual symbol of Hef's
"Look but don't touch" policy with the Bunnies, who were not
allowed to date Playboy Club members (also called Keyholders)
The Santa Bunny costume.
In 1962 Playboy hired French seamstress Renée Blot to perfect
the suit. She took the original design and added a bow tie and
shirtcuffs, reduced the size of the ears, cinched the waist and
bumped up the cleavage size to a generous D-cup. The ultra-stiff
cup, made from the same foam rubber as car seats, required some
Bunnies to fill in the holes with everything from rolled-up
socks to cut-up bunny tails. "All of us had to stuff our bras,"
Kathryn Leigh Scott, author of
The Bunny Years
and three-year alumna of the New York Club. "There were very few
of us who could simply zip themselves into that costume without
any sort of padding."
But the true art of the suit was in the details. "A lot of
thought went into this costume," says Pat Lacey, Director of
Playmate and Bunny Promotions for Playboy and a 13-year veteran
of the LA Club. "There are so many things that people don't
realize that were really thought out so that Bunny could perform
her job very easily and at the same time remain glamorous and
graceful." Every girl was required to wear a pair of nude nylons
under her black ones so that Bunnies of all races had the same
A bikinied Bunny at
Playboy's Jamaican Club.
The rosette name tag, sexily placed on the right hip, was
there so seated Keyholders only had to look at eye-level to see
a Bunny's name. And the costume's ribbons weren't only for
decoration -- they were what the Bunnies hooked their pens and
penlights on. "It was almost like a telephone lineman or a
carpenter," Scott says. "You carried the tools of your trade on
what was your uniform."
And the sexiest part of the costume wasn't sewn on at all.
"Part of being a Bunny was being a flirt, and the costume really
helped you flirt," Scott says. "So when you got a tip you'd slip
it in what we called 'The Bank.' You'd slip it into your
cleavage. It was a turn-on, there's no question."