It’s true: Cooper Hefner, youngest son of Hugh and newly ascended chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, did enjoy a youth that was the stuff of teenage dreams. Celebrities and scantily clad bunnies wallpapered his life. He and his schoolmates could order anything they could think of, and the Playboy Mansion kitchen would send it right out. There was a private zoo.
Yet the good times came with a Freudian twist. His mom, 1989 Playmate of the Year Kimberley Conrad, hung in the library, depicted nude in a large portrait frame. “Yeah, that was weird,” Cooper explains over lunch at the mansion. “It was like the elephant in the room.”
Cooper Hefner, youngest son of Hugh Hefner and newly ascended chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises
The photo’s long been put away. (Dad, now 91, divorced Conrad and dated a harem of blondes before rediscovering monogamy with current wife Crystal Harris.) But his son, 25, insists “the image being up now wouldn’t bother me,” pointing out that he recently requested Conrad pose again.
“On Mother’s Day, I asked her if she would be interested in reshooting her original cover,” says Cooper. “Two weeks later we did it.” (The image was published in June.)
Like Cooper, Playboy is grappling with the weight of history — how to refine a heritage brand as that heritage is up for debate across genders, generations and geographies.
Cooper is leaning on the past as he plots the future for Playboy, a onetime startup turned conventional conglomerate – and a brand that fuels more than $1 billion in sales and recently was valued at $500 million — that of late has been beset by competitors and corporate malaise.
Report: Hollywood Reporter