Mumbai: Playboy unveiled a new-look bunny costume on Wednesday for its upcoming Indian club launch, opting for a more demure take on the waitress outfits but keeping the ears, bow-ties and fluffy tails.
In a bid to appease conservative Indian values, the traditional skimpy corset has been replaced with a sari-inspired two-piece costume, comprising a one-shoulder top, a bare midriff and a sheer, full-length skirt with a split.
"Being able to introduce our brand in a responsible and meaningful way in India was our key objective," said Matthew Nordby, executive vice president of Playboy Enterprises, visiting Mumbai from Beverly Hills for the launch.
While Playboy magazine remains banned in India, the first club bearing the brand is due to open in the holiday state of Goa early next year, pushed back from the initially planned date of mid-December.
The beachside outlet will be the first of 120 clubs, hotels, fashion cafes and shops planned in India over the next ten years by local franchisee PB Lifestyle.
"It's a natural fit with the growing middle-class and Generation Y here in India," Nordby said.
The bunnies, who will serve drinks in the clubs, will be from overseas.
"They're here in India, going through a rigorous bunny training programme," Nordby said.
Tourist officials in Goa have warned that they would shut down the inaugural Playboy club if there was any evidence of "obscenity, vulgarity or nudity".
PB Lifestyle has assured no nudity will be involved.
Playboy magazine, along with a host of other foreign "adult" publications, is not permitted in India owing to obscenity laws banning material deemed "lascivious or appealing to prurient interests".