The Bunnies are Back - Page 5 of 5

Playmate Deanna Brooks at
Hef's birthday bash last May.

Hef often made the most attractive Bunnies into Playmates, and today a handful of Playmates are donning the famous satin ears once again. At Hef's directive, the classic 1962 costume was brought back in late 1997 for Playmates to wear exclusively at certain Playboy-sponsored events.

Annie Thompson, who worked at the LA Club from 1968 to 1979 and later traveled to fit Bunnies in Atlantic City, Miami and Greece, is the only seamstress Hef allows to fit Bunny costumes on Playmates today. "The Bunnies back at the Club were usually average sized," Thompson says, laughing, "but these Playmates, they're about nine feet tall!" So far she's fitted 15 Playmates for everything from Mansion parties to events for Playboy's international editions. At Hef's request, she even made the first-ever gold lamé costume for PMOY 1999 Heather Kozar. And no, the Playmates don't have to stuff their bras, Thompson says.

View the list of Playmate Bunnies past and present.
View the gallery of Current Bunnies.

Pin the tail on the Bunny:
PMOYs Jodi Ann Paterson
and Heather Kozar at play.

And as for the original costumes? They're almost impossible to find. Each girl was required to turn in her suit once she was no longer a Bunny, and Playboy rarely parts with the Bunny costumes in its archives. The Chicago Historical Society and the Women's Museum in Dallas are two museums lucky enough to have one in their collection. "The Bunny costume is one of the most significant representations of women in American culture in the 20th century," says Jacqueline M. Bell, marketing director for the Women's Museum. "The image of the Bunny itself certainly has its own legacy, but it also has a special significance for many famous women featured in other parts of the museum who once wore the costume." Deborah Harry of Blondie and fashion model Lauren Hutton are among the celebrities who got their start wearing the famous satin ears.

But for the original Club Bunnies, the sex appeal of the costume itself will always hold a certain mystique. "It's an amazing experience to stand there in those high-heeled shoes and stockings and see yourself in the mirror," Scott says. "It really, literally takes your breath away."

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Photos by Chad Doering. Text and images copyright of Playboy.com.