In November of 1993, Playboy broke international barriers in a big way. Tapping into a rapidly expanding brand presence abroad, we brought the best of Brazil back to America with the release of a never-before-seen photo set of the trio from Rio, the Porto Sisters.
Needless to say, our readers were impressed, and after convincing them that we were not being duplicitous (triplicitous?), not employing a little bit of camera magic but in fact photographing three of the most bodacious Brazilian beauties ever born (together), they were sold. And so were the magazines that November.
What follows is an excerpt from the issue along with the pictorial. To see what really caught our readers’ eyes back in ’93, sign up for iPlayboy today.
By birth order, the oldest of the triplets is Marilise, pronounced Mah-ree-LEEZE-ee but without too much emphasis on the final syllable. Whisper it as if you were barely getting a life-sustaining breath into The Girl from Ipanema. The middle sister is Lilian. Say more than Lih-LEE-ah, less than Lih-lee-ahn. Then comes Renata. Heh-NAH-tuh. The Brazilians are slouches at an initial “r.” Hence, the city the sisters live in, assuming you’re ready to go native, is HEE-oo, not what you’ve always called it, REE-oh.
Now forget which is which and who’s on the left and who’s on the right. This isn’t trick photography. But makeup and photo artistry can’t help but minimize the differences among the sisters, though the differences are real. Besides, the triplets themselves are not above a prank. Three distinct pictures of them appeared in one Brazilian magazine above responses to the question “Do you like guys shy or extroverted?” Lilian said extroverted; Marilise, shy; Renata voted with Lilian. “Actually,” reveals Renata, “all three pictures are of Lilian.”
And so the triplets play trickster once again. Marilise, Lilian and Renata Porto were born, at ten-minute intervals, on March 1, 1974, in the south Brazilian town of Tucunduva in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The triplets have been famous for about three years as models for Onyx Jeans, Neutrox shampoo and Azaleia sandals. But they have also appeared four times in one year in Playboy Brazil. That is why if you mention triplets anywhere in Brazil, from Iguaçu on the border with Argentina and Paraguay to the faraway Amazon, the response will be either “Ah, the gauchas” (the female counterparts to gauchos) or “Oh, the Playboy triplets.” When they worked at a trade show recently in São Paulo, they signed 9000 autographs. And while a handful of pop-music superstars, a couple of Brazilian TV personalities and Pelé, the retired soccer great, are more famous than the trio from Rio, this is about where the triplets fit in: Roughly speaking, they’re the 16th, 17th and 18th most famous people in the world’s fifth most populous country. That doesn’t mean that people know each of them by name. They’re just known. Universally. As the triplets…