sophistication is the new sexy
The job came with certain unassailable perks. When Raquel Pomplun was anointed Playboy’s 2013 Playmate of the Year, the 25 year old model knew she could expect a Playboy Mansion luncheon hosted aaa replica designer handbags by Hugh Hefner, a tomato red 2014 Jaguar convertible and $100,000 in congratulations cash. Pomplun didn’t anticipate a detour into contemporary art.
Hours after the ceremony, the Playmate found herself whisked from the mansion to Bungalow One at West Hollywood’s louche Chateau Marmont, where Playboy staff politely asked Pomplun to strip. Not in the service of another pinup pictorial, but for chaste portraits by fine arts photographer Malerie Marder. After being interviewed (clothed) by video artist Alex Israel and mingling with a cocktail crowd of fashionistas and art world mavens, the model disrobed again to roll in paint and press her naked body against canvases for multimedia artist Aaron Young.
“At first I was like, ‘Why did I say yes to this?'” Pomplun says. “But if you look back to the ’60s, Playboy has always been a big supporter of art and abstract artists. They told me, ‘We want to bring replica louis vuitton bags from china that back.’ To try to make the brand what it was with what we have nowadays. I thought, ‘Why not?'”
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Turns out that as Playboy approaches its 60th anniversary, the magazine is drawing upon that past to try to return to the cultural forefront. After decades of ebbing influence, declining circulation (from a 1972 peak of more than 7 million issues distributed monthly to 1.25 million today) and louis vuitton copy bags uk , high quality designer replica handbags wholesale worse still, a lowering in August by Standard Poor’s of Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s corporate credit rating from a B minus to CCC plus junk bond status Pomplun’s dynamic collision of eroticism and fine art represents a key piece of Playboy’s game changing efforts.
In an era when many Playboy readers have grown up viewing online pornography and a monthly title featuring nude women can seem downright antiquated, the men’s lifestyle magazine is in the midst of an editorial reboot.
“You could tell by looking at it, the carpets had gotten a little bit musty,” says Playboy’s editorial director, Jimmy Jellinek. “We made a conscious decision two years ago that we needed to make some profound changes to the aesthetic and construction of the magazine.”
Playboy’s DNA as a handbook for the urban male is still intact, Jellinek insists. edition. It now functions as the “brand ambassador” for Playboy Enterprises, whose holdings include a TV station, digital network, online division, radio station and an apparel and collectibles group as well as nearly 30 international editions of the magazine that 1:1 replica handbags combine to bring in an annual revenue of $135 million.
The most immediately apparent change is referred to as the “three Gs”: God Given Gorgeous. That is, nude models notably absent the kind of double D surgical enhancements that came to be associated with the magazine over the last two decades.
“What we heard repeatedly is high quality designer replica handbags , our audience is much more female than we thought,” Playboy Chief Executive Scott Flanders says at a time when approximately 1.1 million of the magazine’s 5.6 million monthly readers are now women. “[They] wanted us to move away from obvious artificiality.”
Since hiring art director Mac Lewis from fashion heavyweight V magazine in late 2012, adding a batch of new staff photographers and replacing long tenured editors with fresh recruits, the magazine boasts a more sophisticated look and tone. The course change is literally and figuratively intended to catapult Playboy out from under the mattress and onto the coffee table. It’s a deliberate pivot away from the scandal mavens, reality TV stars and pro wrestlers Playboy put on its covers until recently.
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To wit: the July/August 2013 issue cover features 25 synchronized swimmers replica louis vuitton bags forming the rabbit head logo, a conscious throwback to the kind fake designer bags of concept driven, art directed aesthetic of Playboy’s 1960s ’70s golden age.
“Taking a step back and being more art than porn is a very smart move,” says Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. “Just making the magazine less obnoxious makes it easier to pick up and buy.”
“You cannot stay static,” says Hefner, 87, who abides as Playboy’s editor in chief and has personally blessed the title’s revamp.
Seated in his wood paneled study at the mansion in signature smoking jacket and pajamas, Hef quietly contemplated the magazine’s continuing evolution.
“You have to change. At the same time,” he adds, “if one were going to find a touchstone in terms of what’s happening now, one would have to go back to the very beginning of the publication.”
In June, along a stretch of Highway 90 outside Marfa, Texas, a neon bunny logo went up atop a 40 foot pole flanked by a ’72 Dodge Charger. The installation, by Richard Phillips and commissioned by Playboy’s creative director for special projects, Neville Wakefield, is the magazine’s highest profile art tie in to date. According to Phillips, who shows with the powerhouse Gagosian Gallery, the muscle car represents American power and idealism; its vintage, a nod to the zenith of Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags Playboy’s readership. Marfa stands as a far flung art destination, put on the map by Minimalist artist Donald Judd.
Taken together, the signifiers provide a handy metaphor for Playboy’s “everything old is new again” approach.
“When Playboy was at its strongest, politics, literature and eroticism were working together that made the magazine powerful,” Phillips explains. But as far back as 1967, the title was commissioning works by pioneering modern artists including Salvador Dal, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha.
“Although it seems like a weird thing to connect Playboy with this esoteric audience, it’s really continuous with its original mission,” Wakefield says. “It was always a bit of a Trojan horse, offering nudity but providing in depth writing. I think it can do something similar with these radically different audiences and generations as well.”
The endgame is to create an aspirational extreme.
“At the top of the pyramid is the super influencer crowd,” Jellinek says. “The hybrid between fashion, art and celebrity, Russian hedge fund oligarchs, supermodels we want those people engaged with the Playboy brand because they are the living, breathing manifestation of the Playboy dream. Then it can start to trickle down.”
Bettina Korek, who produces public art initiatives and helps create cultural partnerships under the auspices of her Los Angeles based company ForYourArt, credits Wakefield who enlisted such A list high quality replica handbags china art stars as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince to reinterpret the centerfold for a recent feature with persuading the art community to rally around the magazine’s efforts to embrace higher culture.
“What’s great about the way Playboy approaches commissioning work is dolabuy.su , they’re taking the role as a patron rather than creating one offs, projects that have authentic connections to what is happening in the art world,” Korek says. “It provides an opportunity to rub up against the outer layer of popular culture that’s very compelling for artists.”
Playboy is hardly the first global brand to draft in Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica the fake designer bags art replica louis vuitton world’s cultural wake. Louis Vuitton extensively collaborated with Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. Levi’s is helping bankroll artist Doug Aitken’s “Station to Station” art train. But will Playboy’s shift from trashy to classy pay off in new readers and revenue.