7 Playmates Re-Enact Their Iconic Covers

Once a Playmate, always a Playmate.” From our inception, Hugh Hefner has echoed the sentiment that there’s no such thing as a former Playmate. Once you’re welcomed to the Playboy family, you’ll always have a family. In the spirit of celebrating the women who’ve made Playboy what it is—an exuberant celebration of beauty, sex and the beauty of sex—we invited seven special Playmates from over the years to come back and recreate their iconic covers. In the process, they remind us that beauty is ageless, sex appeal is timeless and exuberance is eternal.

KIMBERLEY CONRAD HEFNER: Playmate of the Year 1989, January Playmate 1988

“I’m from Alabama originally, but I grew up in west Vancouver. The sweetness comes from the South! Money doesn’t buy manners. I moved to Los Angeles and – boom – there it was. Hef and I started dating, got married, had kids, and the rest is history. There was a common misconception that I put the kibosh on the partying at the Mansion. It had nothing to do with me. The Playmates still came over, but it was nice to have them call and say, ‘Hi! I’m coming up!’ Let the office know. It was still wide open. It was still the ultimate restaurant and health club with a 24-hour membership. We never refused anyone, ever. But it’s nice to know that there’s going to be people in your house when you’re coming downstairs in the morning. [Laughs] It was always an open door and open gate. It was just a different time, you know?”

CHARLOTTE KEMP: December Playmate 1982

“My roommate was Jill De Vries. She was already a Playmate and she kept on saying, ‘You’ve got to do Playboy with those boobs!' I kept saying, 'No, no.' So one afternoon we got drunk and walked down to Playboy in Chicago. I had never done anything naked. I was still a virgin. That was Saturday night. By Sunday morning there was a limousine there to take me to L.A. On Monday we shot. It was an absolute whirlwind. I had a Playmate running team. I had ten girls on the team and we’d run marathons, all around the country, raising money for charities.”

CATHY ST. GEORGE: August Playmate 1982

“I love disco. What can I say? I had my party at Studio 54 when my centerfold came out. It was really cool. The song “Centerfold” by the J. Geils Band had come out that month, so when I walked out, all these photos of my face came down from the ceiling to that song. I had already been married and worked as the executive for a company. When I came to L.A., I wasn’t planning on being a model. I’d never been a model! It was a totally new life. I was 27, so I was more mature, but I was still crazy. Monique was my sidekick and we were bad! I don’t remember most of the eighties. If you lived it, you don’t remember it.”

MONIQUE ST. PIERRE: Playmate of the Year 1979, November Playmate 1978

“I was a fashion model first. I was already kind of known a little bit before Playboy. When my issue came out, it exploded. I loved my experience. I lived at the Mansion for about a year. Hef said, ‘Believe me, you pay your rent because you make all the girls feel comfortable when they come to the house.’ I’ve always been a little bit of a mama. I was always taking care of the girls and I’m still doing the same thing. I run a recovery house for women addicted to alcohol and drugs. What I’m doing now is such an honor and privilege. I get to witness miracles.”

RENEÉ TENISON: Playmate of the Year 1990, November 1989 Playmate

“When I did Playboy, there was a little bit of controversy because I was the first African-American Playmate of the Year and some women were saying I was being objectified. But I said, ‘Well, if you’re pro-choice, shouldn’t I have the right to choose what I want to do?’ If I want to pose nude, I should be able to pose nude! When the issue came out, the response was 90% positive and maybe 10% didn’t like it. If you look back, all the big models from Christy Turlington to Naomi Campbell posed nude. I see it as art. Not everybody sees it that way, but that’s how I see it.”

CANDACE COLLINS: December Playmate 1979

“I appeared on eight Playboy covers (two U.S., six international) and the first time was a blur. I was a Bunny at the Chicago Playboy Club and did a lot of promo shoots. I even had a life-size poster in all the clubs around the world to promote key club sales. The Playboy photogs and assistants were all friends of mine and would have me come up to the photo studio from time. I did a lot of test cover shoots and I never knew which one Hef would like. They were always professional and no sooner would they pay any special attention to a nude or semi-clad model than a milkman pays to his bottles. It was a job, granted a job they wanted done perfectly, but still a job. I now know just how special those shoots were and feel very, very lucky to be in such a unique sorority.”

LISA MATTHEWS: Playmate of the Year 1991, April Playmate 1990

“I was at a regular modeling agency in L.A. and a girl who I’d become friends with there had done her centerfold. I don’t think I’d ever even seen the magazine. We were together on a job in Utah and went and bought her issue. We probably went to a 7-Eleven. She brought me in to do a test, and the next week, I shot. It was like, ‘You’re in. Done. We’re shooting now!’ Once it came out, I remember I’d be traveling and people would come up to me. The thing they’d always say is, ‘You’re name is Lisa, right?’ And then they’d say, ‘I think I’ve seen you in a national magazine.’ I’d sit there and say, ‘Oh, which one?’ Like you have to say it! If you have enough guts to come up and say something, then you’ve got to be able to say Playboy. The funniest place that happened was outside the Vatican in Rome.”

  Photography by Ben Miller and Ryan Lowry
Styling by Neva Kaya and Caitlin Disney
Hair and Makeup by Karina Moore and Stella Mikhail
Special thanks to Evan Woods and Katie Bell Moore

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