Playboy India

Client: Urban Monkey, India x Playboy USA
Scope: Fashion, Apparel and LSA Design + Identity, Packaging, Print Design
Status: Complete
Date Posted: 30.03.22

Playboy was a magazine representing a lavish and sexually adventurous lifestyle in the 1960s and 1970s. It reached nearly 7 million subscribers at its peak and published the work of notable figures such as Andy Warhol and Hunter S. Thompson. However, it faced competition from more explicit magazines and video pornography, and the rise of the internet made paid pornography accessible. As a result, the company struggled financially, sold its TV and digital operations, and took the company private.

The magazine's circulation decreased, but certain aspects of the Playboy brand remained viable business lines, such as branded spirits, furniture and perfume, fashion collaborations, a casino in London, pop-up events, and a recently reopened nightclub in New York. The company's CEO compares the company's future to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop.
The magazine has recently changed its editorial vision and content, becoming more socially conscious and focusing on feminist issues. In addition, the company has rebranded their "Bunnies" as "brand ambassadors" and the centerfold models as "Playmates."
The staff uses terms like "intersectionality," "sex positivity," and "privileging" to describe their editorial vision, and two of the editors are former employees of Ms. Magazine.

The photography has also changed, with Playmates primarily shot by other women and using artsy angles and intimacy coordinators on set.

It is now edited by a millennial team, including an openly gay executive editor, focusing on inclusivity, representation, and activism, featuring interviews with activists and queer cartoons, and gender-neutral sex toys.

This evolution was one of the main driving forces for this collection.






Our journey is documented in form of a case study






The brief was to create a collection for Urban Monkey and Playboy.
Playboy's rabbit head logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. It shows the power of branding, how a symbol represents a multitude of values that consumers love repping. Brands such as Supreme, Pleasures, Huff, and OVO have significantly impacted the clothing and accessories industry in collaboration with PB.

Playboy, once known for its magazine and mansions, now leverages its iconic rabbit head logo onto consumer products and experiences that align with its motto of "Pleasure for all."
Playboy will enter the Indian Apparel and LSA industry by collaborating with Urban Monkey.

Urban Monkey's Audience and customers belong to an age group that might have yet to witness the cultural impact PB created during its magazine era. This collaboration will expand the existence of PB in India, giving us the responsibility of representing the correct values to the younger audiences.



What is Playboy to You?
What comes to your mind when we say, Playboy?

A sprint was held with multiple participants to map out the various interpretations and understanding of the brand “Playboy",
which helped us incubate a spectrum of ideas the brand represented from

the magazine, erotica, the mansions, hospitality, and the cultural impact it had on the creative community.

But the main question was;

*How can we understand & communicate Playboy better?

*How can perception accentuate the process of creation?
To filter and create the correct foundation for this collection,
It only made sense for us to create our version and understanding of the rabbit head logo.

For us, Playboy's roots lie in their magazine. From interviews with leading creatives and the documentation of the cultural progress. The magazine added way more value to a generation than an erotica cover that people remember.
The magazine's centerfold poster elevated visual communication and storytelling through photography, which was copied by magazines such as national geographic and tinkle magazine in India.

We concluded to emphasize on

the power of literature and its impact on
social change & identification.



We consider PB as the original lifestyle guide. They equipped their audience with content, products, and experiences that enable the exploration of all forms of pleasure and lead more authentic, emotionally, intellectually, and sexually fulfilling lives.

Their current tagline is “Pleasure for all.”


Pleasure is often mistaken for happiness.

Pleasure is achieved through external substances, and exists for a short period,
Whereas happiness is achieved by internal experiences and grows over time.

Using this difference, we saw an opportunity to speak about Happiness and well-being;
While using the word “pleasures.”
With this project, we hope to drive culture forward - always advocating for the expansion of equality & freedom and constantly evolving to serve our audience and society best.

^ Copyrights to images used belong to their respective owners.

We did have to create a visual mood board to communicate our vision.
For the mood board of the collection, we focussed on

Neutral, Subtle, and Mindful Aesthetics.

To portray internal luxury.

They were complemented by Experimental Typography communicating playful quotes; alongside Legendary Playboy Image assets.



How can the impact of literature and print media,
Be expressed through an apparel collection?

With a personal bias towards print, we decided to create a mini magazine (zine) communicating our vision for this collection.

We focussed on four core messages, aligning with our objective to help India transition from awareness to acceptance.  

Gender Neutrality,

Sexuality & Sexual Awareness,

The Pleasure Within,

Body Positivity

The literature was translated into tiny morsels of meta messages,
to cater to the masses of India and the age group we serve.

The compilation was our main driving force in creating this collection, setting rich, solid roots for the collaboration.

Beyond visuals, colors, materials, and finishes.




We used mini patches, usually used for branding, to visually communicate our values and messages. They would serve as an Easter egg full of positivity, establishing the potential of branding as value sharing.
SZA's collaboration with Crocs inspired us to dilute the concepts and communicate them visually. Where small pins/charms represent her personality and what she stands for,
a calm, nature-loving artist.

Respecting Past

Playboy was the platform for leading writers, artists & photographers to express themselves with total freedom, the place where sex was never taboo & where life, liberty & the pursuit of pleasure were to be enjoyed by all.
We curated Iconic Photographs from Playboy's massive body of work relevant to the age group and the country. And in alignment with the foundation of the collection.


The feelings for the collection were: Exposed, Raw, Non orchestrated, in its natural form, and unique this was expressed in the apparel collection by exploring a variety of textures and garment washes.

We expressed subtle and neutral aesthetics,
by opting for monochrome material swatches and layered applications.

Bright colors were strategically used to draw attention to the value patches.


As a tribute to Playboy Magazine, we create a mini zine that will go along with every product. This zine talks about the vision and message behind the collection, along with an overview of the entire apparel collection.
We also took inspiration from Playboy's iconic centerfold posters and included a poster at the back of the zine. Each one with its own story, resonating with the values of the collection.


Studying other Playboy apparel collections, we notice the exploitation of PB assets and the rabbit head logo. We exaggerated this into scaled-down loops and flags, showing Playboy with Urban Monkey in India. We also camouflaged the branding into the base garment as a protest towards

Garments being worn for
what they stand for,
but not which brand made them.




Design + Merchandising
Shivani Gangwal [Product Development]
Sunay Bhandare [Product Development]
Shruti Gola [Print Media]
Subbu [Merchandising]

Yash Gangwal, Shivani Gangwal, Kanchi Chokshi [Urban Monkey Executives]
Vishaka Acharya & Mansi [Playboy India Executives]
Cassie Reynoso& Lori Cowley [Playboy LA Executives]

Varun Mehta [Creative Direction]

In the end, we learned and grew in countless ways.
I am incredibly grateful for every individual who played a part in this journey,
and believed in us and supported us. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3