In Chicago in 1953 Hugh Hefner founded Playboy.
A lifestyle and entertainment magazine boasting smartly, in-depth journalism and centrefolds of nude models – or Playmates, as they’d become known – the publication became an instant hit and carved out a place in sexual revolution.
Playboy wasn’t just a baby boomer fad, it ran through the 1960s, 1970s and beyond. Today the magazine might not carry the cultural cache it once did. Hef has sold off the Playboy mansion and the mag is reportedly up for sale, with the publication living on online with an incredible publishing back catalogue.
If you need convincing about just how significant Playboy is, it’s worth noting that the very first issue in December 1953 launched the career of one Marilyn Monroe. Here are 15 of the sexiest Playmates from the 1950s, the height of the magazine’s cultural power.