News & Opinion | October 28, 2020 10:39 am

Playboy Is Suing Fashion Nova Over Sexy Bunny Costume

As far as Playboy is concerned, all sexy bunnies are Playboy bunnies

playboy bunnies
The iconic Playboy Bunny costume was first worn by waitresses at the Playboy Clubs beginning in 1960.
Larry French/Getty Images for Playbo

Bunny ears and lingerie have basically been the standard-issue “sexy” Halloween costume ever since Regina George donned the ensemble in 2004’s Mean Girls, but this year Playboy wants its bunny back. The legendary brand, which made the sexy bunny costume iconic when it set a staff of cotton-tailed waitresses loose on the floor of the first Playboy Club in Chicago back in 1960, is suing fast-fashion retailer Fashion Nova for selling a rip-off of the Playboy Bunny costume.

According to TMZ, Playboy first sent a cease and desist to the retailer requesting Fashion Nova’s “Bunny of the Month” costume — featuring a black bodysuit, ears, tail and cuffs in a style very similar to Playboy’s original bunny suit — be removed from shelves. While Fashion Nova did change the name from the blatant “Playmate of the Month” rip-off, the brand reportedly now faces legal action for ignoring Playboy’s demands to stop selling the costume.

Fashion Nova is used to ruffling feathers in this manner, often getting in hot water with celebrities and designers like Kim Kardashian and Versace for ripping off runway looks and hawking cheap knock-offs. However, as Dazed noted, Fashion Nova is far from the only retailer selling a sexy bunny costume in the style of the iconic Playboy Bunny uniform.

The difference this year, perhaps, is that Playboy is one of them. Since shuttering the brand’s founding print magazine back in March, the latest version of Playboy’s oft-evolving business strategy has seen the brand lean heavily into licensing deals and commerce. Playboy currently has several different versions of the bunny costume for sale on its website (as well as a Hugh Hefner costume featuring a red satin robe and pipe), and earlier this year Playboy’s parent company acquired Yandy, another Fashion Nova-esque online retailer famous for its sexy Halloween costumes.

Playboy’s last, short-lived attempt to resurrect the bunny costume on the floors of its actual club may have failed nearly a year ago when the Manhattan revival of the Playboy Club closed down just one year after opening, but apparently the brand still wants the monopoly on any scantily clad bunnies this Halloween.

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