In his first bold move as the new creative officer of the Playboy empire, Cooper, son of the late Hugh Hefner, confirmed that the famed men’s magazine will feature a transgender model for its November/December issue.
For the first time in the company’s 64-year history, Playboy has chosen 26-year-old French model Ines Rau to grace its pages.
Fulfilling his promise of opening new horizons for Playboy, Cooper said Rau’s selection “very much speaks to the brand’s philosophy.”
“It’s the right thing to do. We’re at a moment where gender roles are evolving,” the 26-yer-old heir told the New York Post. “This is really a moment for us to take a step back and say that so much of what the brand stood for in the early years is very much still alive in culture.”
Hefner added that Rau’s selection was a no-brainer, because “she’s lovely” and “has a remarkable personality,” and could help resolidify the magazine’s voice.
Rau, meanwhile, expressed her delight upon being given the distinction.
“It was a compliment like I’ve never had,” she was quoted as saying by the news outlet. “I’ve had a lot of beautiful compliments from gentlemen before, but this one really made me feel very special, beautiful and feminine. I was speechless.”
Prior to working with Playboy, Rau appeared in Vogue, Italian Vogue and a Balmain fashion campaign.
After the announcement was made public, the 26-year-old model addressed mixed reactions from people online.
“I’ve seen a lot of hateful comments,” Rau said. “I would have never thought about people being so transphobic. I knew we still had a lot of work to do to get to a point where people see trans women as women, but I would have never thought of that.” Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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