Undressing college girls for 35 years, Playboy’s college edition features coeds from a different sports conference every year.
Last year, they featured girls from the Pac 10.
“Our college edition is our most popular issues because it’s the girl next door,” said Maria Hagen, photo stylist. “It is someone in the community that they see going to class or the restaurant they go to or at the bar or someone that works at the farmers market. It really could be anyone.”
The casting call is two days long with the official photoshoot immediately after.
“We take all the film or digital files now back to Chicago where then the editors will work on the layout,” Hagen said. “Sometimes they will choose just one representative from the university, but sometimes we have an opportunity to do a couple single girls or a group shot of five girls fishing or on a canoe or something.”
When picking a girl or girls to represent each school, Hagen said they don’t look for the stereotypic model.
“In college, we really look for someone that is going to be enthusiastic because it really needs to travel in the photography,” Hagen said. “So it’s not just about being a perfect 10 and being super long and leggy, or blonde or big, huge boobs.”
Hagen said in her eight years at Playboy, the girls they pick don’t usually expect to be chosen.
“They’re doing it on a dare or it’s something fun,” Hagen said. “It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not a lot of girls get to go to a casting.“
Kimmie Bailey, junior in graphic design, said she came to the casting because she thought it would be a good experience.
“I don’t have an hesitation about it because I think Playboy is a respectable brand, and there is nothing wrong with it,” Bailey said. “I am comfortable with myself.”
Most girls at the casting call were nervous about posing.
I got a little bit nervous, but less about being photographed and more about ‘Oh, I hope I’m pretty enough,’” Bailey said.
During the casting call, the girls don’t have to be completely nude.
They can choose to wear a bikini or lingerie.
Unlike a typical Playby issue, most of the girls aren’t completely nude, or put in overly sexual poses.
“The college issues are always a little more playful, young, fresh, less hair and makeup and a little more wardrobe than other pieces we run in the magazine,” Hagen said. “It’s school spirit, sweatshirts, hoodies, little jerseys and boy shorts . A lot of the stuff that we do is implied nudity, and sometimes that is the sexiest stuff where there is just a hint of nudity.”
Despite the playful setting, some girls still feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.
Zachary Johnson, Playboy photographer, said he tries to calm the girls down while shooting.
“I just keep talking to them,” Johnson said. “It might take a minute or two.”
Once all of the pictures have been shot, they willtake the pictures back to Chicago and decide who will be the cover girl.
“You have to be 21 to be on the cover because of our alcohol sponsors and advertiser,” Hagen said. “We will bring her out to L.A. to maybe meet (Hugh) Heff(ner) at the mansion and do a cover try.”
Hagen said Heffner approves every page of the magazine.
“We are looking for girls from the direction he has given us, through our direction and creative direction,” Hagen said. “Then we present him with all the photos we do here. He will then curate the pages and layout.”
While their looking for girls for the college issue, Hagen said they are also looking for new playmates as well.
“Playmates end up being actresses, personalities, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, household names and supermodels,” Hagen said. “It’s all what the girl makes of it.”
If Bailey is chosen for the magazine, she said she wants to do something special for the unveiling.
“I’d want to have a little get together with friends,” Bailey said. “I would have a playboy themed party with little, pink cupcakes.”