Photographer Daria Nagovitz

On the cover of Playboy’s May/June issue, Nina Daniele poses in a martini glass, wearing only thigh highs and evening gloves. Nina’s 2018 Playmate of the Year pictorial pays homage to the Femlin, the classic Playboy character created by LeRoy Nieman who's appeared on the Party Jokes page every issue for the majority of the magazine's history. Indeed, Nina describes herself as mischievous and playful—the traits that characterize the Femlin—but she’s so much more than that.

On Friday, May 4, Playboy hosted an exclusive, invitation-only brunch to honor the new Playmate of the Year at Beauty and Essex in Hollywood. Nina wore a flowing yellow gown and photographers swarmed as she entered the lounge’s brick-laid patio. The Bronx-born model posed for photos in front of the Playboy masthead, fashioned out of pink roses. Effortlessly, she flashed smile after smile, swirling the floor-length gown for the cameras and then using the dress’s high slit to show off her leg.

During the cocktail hour, Nina’s friends and family, fellow Playmates, Playboy executives and guests gathered for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Bartenders served a menu of appropriately-named drinks, including the Femlin (Cava, peach and Campari), the Drama Starter (Avion Silver tequila, espresso, cold brew, Godiva liquor and vanilla), and the Green with Envy (cucumber-infused Belvedere vodka, St. Germain liqueur, cilantro and jalapeño nectar). Actress Arielle Wyatt tells Playboy she wasn’t surprised that Nina, whom she describes as her “bestie from another teste," had earned the 2018 Playmate of the Year title. She says, "She wanted this so badly, and she put so much work into it."
Guests moved inside for a sit-down brunch in the elegant dining room, where the Supa Lowery Brothers performed live. The event space was as eye-catching and gorgeous as Nina Daniele herself, in part because it was decorated with larger-than-life photos of the guest of honor. After brunch was served, August 2000 Playmate Summer Altice opened with a speech in which she called Nina "one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met" and reminded her that she would always be part of the Playboy family. Summer then introduced Playboy's CEO, Ben Kohn, who offered Nina his congratulations, adding, "I have full confidence she will do a great job representing the Playmates and Playboy's brand around the world."

He spoke about some of the company’s recent successes and told the audience that the Playboy Social Club at Palm Springs during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Playboy's No Tie Party in Washington, D.C., after the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association's annual dinner, were just the start of the impressive live events Playboy has planned for the future.

Kohn passed the mic to Cooper Hefner, Playboy's Chief Creative Officer, who thanked Nina and the other Playmates present for their work as brand ambassadors. He reflected on the history of the Playmates and said, "Whether we're thinking of Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, or we step into the present to see Nina Daniele, I am confident beyond belief that this strong and beautiful woman sitting in front of me so very much belongs in what is already an exceptional group of women." He listed a few of Nina's many positive attributes and said, “Between modeling jobs, Nina finds joy in a quieter pursuit—studying photography—but we're grateful that at some point in her life, she decided to also step in front of the lens." No doubt, millions of Playboy readers share that gratitude.
Hefner called up Nina to the microphone, who started her acceptance speech by saying, "So, my aunt thinks I do porn—and I let her." She related a funny conversation with her cousin and then explained how much it means to her to represent the Playboy brand. She said people often feel compelled to tell her—loudly—what they think of Playboy, but that the only opinion that matters to her is her own. She said, “Posing nude is a metaphor for building my armor: the stronger and more impervious I become, the more my spirit has a fighting chance to grow unaffected by outside thoughts and opinions of me, thus allowing me to become the person I was always meant to be. Allowing me to show other girls and other women we are not the opinions of society; we are the opinions of ourselves, and we are beautiful because we say we are.”

Nina often says she has “savage blood,” and it’s easy to believe, because she is a powerful presence, whether it’s in photographs, on video, or in person. Fierce, funny, confident and captivating, Nina Daniele is Playboy’s 2018 Playmate of the Year, and her journey is just beginning.—Lisa Beebe

The 2018 Playmate of the Year Issue: Signed Edition Featuring PMOY Nina Daniele

$49.99

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Available exclusively to Playboy Key Holders, this special edition of the May/June 2018 issue of Playboy features the penmanship of Nina Daniele. Don't doubt its authenticity: Our 2018 Playmate of the Year visited Playboy's headquarters to add her signature to her first Playboy magazine cover. With only 50 copies available, these signed editions are the ultimate collector's item for any fan of Nina, Playboy or the Femlin, LeRoy Nieman's infamous femme, who Nina evokes in her PMOY pictorial. Become a Key Holder and order yours today.

Introducing Our New Playmate of the Year: Nina Daniele

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View her breathtaking pictorial celebrating one of Playboy's most iconic characters, the Femlin

Introducing Our New Playmate of the Year: Nina Daniele

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