The merchant of beauty!
Sharique N Siddiquie
Beauty! Well it is very difficult to describe what it actually is, but one thing I am sure everybody will agree on is that it attracts everyone. And what is more beautiful on the face of this earth than a woman? Irrespective of religion, region, caste, culture and profession, a woman is the most beautiful creation of God.
We all admire beauty but one man understood its economic potential and built a USD 340 million empire on it. That man is Hugh Hefner, or Hef as he is fondly called. He is the founder of world’s most popular men’s magazine, Playboy.
No one can argue about Playboy’s popularity, but the founder and editor-in-chief of the magazine is no less interesting than the magazine itself. So rather than going into the details of his childhood, education and editorial background, lets look into some interesting details that set him apart from us ordinary mortals.
Hefner is arguably one of the most envied personalities of our times and everybody wants to be in his shoes. He has got everything that one aspires for: money, fame and some of the most beautiful women of the world. But achieving all this was not easy.
Hef, a University of Illinois graduate played the biggest gamble of his life in 1953 by starting his dream project, the Playboy magazine. He lent his furniture for USD 600 and also raised USD 8000 from 45 investors to publish the very first edition.
He didn’t have the money to publish the second edition of the magazine but initial sale of 50,000 odd copies made sure that the magazine continued its run. Eventually, the business grew and today, the magazine has turned into a multi million dollar Playboy Enterprises, which not only publishes the magazine but has also ventured into other businesses like films, videos, web, parties and clubs.
Playboy’s logo, ‘Bunny,’ also has a very famous story attached to it. Rumours have it that in the initial stages when Hef was trying to create a distinct brand image for his magazine, a lot of ideas were discussed but nothing caught Hef’s imagination. Then one day, one of the Playmates came to him dressed in a bunny’s outfit. Hef tore the pants and sleeves of her dress and then pasted a fluffy cotton ball on her back. It was thus that one of the most famous logos of all times came into existence.
Roberto Cavalli, the celebrated designer, redesigned the famous bunny suit in 2006. The bunny suit consists of a corset, bunny ears, a collar, cuffs, and a fluffy cottontail. The waitresses at the Playboy clubs wear this bunny suits ever since these clubs have been relaunched.
Among the few greatest playboys of the world, Hef always lived with a coterie of girlfriends ranging in age from 18 to 28 years. The enviable list of his girlfriends includes the famous Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson, Donna Michelle, Marilyn Cole, Lillian Muller, Patti McGuire, Shannon Tweed, Barbi Benton, Karen Christy, Sondra Theodore, Carrie Leigh, and Brande Roderick.
The kind of person Hugh Hefner is and the kind of rapport he shares with all these women can easily be judged by his famous quote, “I have slept with thousands of women, and they all still like me.” Well, only Hef can say that.
These days Hef shares his Playboy Mansion with his three girlfriends Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and 18 years old Kendra Wilkinson. It is said that Holly Madison is his primary girlfriend and rumours were rife that they have tied the knot.
A very interesting fact about Hef is that his extended family lives in an identical house he bought opposite his Playboy Mansion. The twice-married Hef has four kids- Christie Hefner, David Hefner, Marston Hefner and Cooper Hefner and they all live together. His eldest daughter Christie is the Chairman and CEO of the Playboy Enterprises.
With his 82nd birthday on April 9, 2008, he got a gift for which any man in the world would die for. The gift was…a hot and sizzling striptease from none other than his famous Playmate Pamela Anderson.
So folks, lets wish our forever young “Playboy” Hugh Hefner on his birthday. And well, call him Hef. He likes it!