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Playboy and fashion: the aestheticisation of eroticism

We explore the aesthetic and symbolic evolution of the Playboy universe throughout history.

Playboy and fashion: the aestheticisation of eroticism

The love story between Playboy and fashion is based on constant stimulation framed in an act of sexuality and infinite provocation. In a lifestyle that distilled from 1953 the magazine created by Hugh Hefner, as the aestheticisation of a sordid world around sophistication, luxury and the decadence of porn that would end up becoming one of the most emblematic brands in the world.

The Playboy Bunny has passed through all eras and cultural spheres, as an icon or countercultural symbol that would eventually crystallise in the collective fashion imaginary. From collaborations with Pleasures or Supreme, to covers or campaigns with icons such as Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell or Pamela Anderson: in all of them the collective satisfaction has reflected that aesthetic obsession and all the provocative imaginary that has enveloped the Playboy universe since its origins.

Romanticising sex

Over the last few years, that relationship based on mutual desire seems to have reached a climax, as an evolution in full ascent since 2010 thanks to collaborations with brands such as Marc Jacobs or Supreme, one of the pioneers in exploring the seductive codes of the brand, stamping the pieces with its logo on the emblematic Stadium jacket, polo shirt and Coach jacket.

That creative crush with Supreme was reborn in 2015 and 2016 through collections and patterns that reinterpreted again other brands such as HUF and Anti Social Social Club, consolidating the link between streetwear and Playboy.

Playboy’s appeal also captivated Cardi B in 2021, who was named Playboy’s first resident creative director, signalling a more inclusive future for the brand, suggesting more power and control for women. At the time, the visual identity and its ‘oppressive’ representation seemed to be deconstructed, changing the brand’s conception through a vision in sync with the modern era.

Playboy would later partner with the Oceanus brand to create a swimwear collection based on 31 pieces that aimed to celebrate female empowerment and create garments for everyone with a campaign starring founder Hannah Attalah in full pregnancy. That same year, Playboy would venture into the world of jewellery, linking up creatively for the second time with London-based Hatton Labs, followed by Drake’s OVO and Studs.

Reaching the climax in streetwear

Later, the brand would experiment with denim through a Y2K-inspired collection of wide, flared, low-rise trousers that further cemented its place in fashion. A status he continued to elevate with his footwear iterations alongside brands such as Pleasures. Similarly, in 2022 he would launch a second collaboration with British brand DUKE + DEXTER, featuring seductive black and white two-tone leather unisex loafers staged on erotic Playboy covers.

One of the latest brands to pay tribute to Playboy’s legacy was Spanish streetwear brand Nude Project, who linked themselves forever with the magazine through a 30-piece collection inspired by the world of art and sensuality entitled ‘Heroes of Pleasure’. The duo launched a range of pleasures consisting of garments and accessories inspired by American high society, evoking the old money aesthetic of the 80s to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adult magazine that has been subverting the fashion system since the 50s.

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