21/12/2012 10:03 GMT | Updated 19/02/2013 10:12 GMT

Playboy Club India: Bunnies Go Demure In Sari-Style Costumes But Sherlyn Chopra Is Snubbed (PICTURES)

India has unveiled its first Playboy bunnies as it prepares to open its first club by the same brand.

The costumes have been keenly anticipated in the conservative country where the magazine is banned.

Neatly stepping around obscenity laws, demure was the name of the game with bunnies wearing sari-style wraps and corsets - though hints of cleavage and exposed midriffs were in evidence.

playboy club india

The Playboy Club launch in Mumbai, India

No nudity is allowed at the club, which is set to open on north Goa's Candolim Beach in January.

Strangely one face not present at the party was that of Bollywood starlet Sherlyn Chopra - the first Indian woman to pose for Hugh Hefner's top shelf magazine.

The 28-year-old graced the pages of the November edition after personally approaching Hefner.

Bollywood Life speculated that the starlet must have been left "fuming with anger" at the snub.

Referring to the new "well-covered" costumes, it added:

We guess the Playboy people didn't wish to see Sherlyn in this newly designed 'insipid' outfit, especially after capturing the babe in her natural glory. Perhaps that's why Sherlyn was snubbed at the party! Wink-wink!

Chopra expressed her own thoughts on the matter via Twitter:

Ahead of the launch, Sanjay Gupta, CEO of PB Lifestyle, which is bringing the brand to India through a licensing agreement, told Reuters: "The costumes of the bunnies, who are integral to the Playboy culture, will be based on Indian sensibilities and morals."

Gupta made references to protests which have swept the country, following the recent gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist on a bus in Delhi.


Cuddling up: Sherlyn Chopra and Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion earlier this year

He rejected claims Playboy's portrayal of women as sex objects would hinder government attempts to reduce the number of sexual assaults, telling The Telegraph: "Clearly this [Delhi gang-rape] is a stray incident by people with sick minds.

"Of course we condemn it but we don't feel there is a connection really. It's just unfortunate timing really."


The Times of India claims it will be the first beach location for a Playboy club globally .

Goa's director of tourism Nikhil Desai told AFP: "They may brand the club as Playboy but if they indulge in obscenity, vulgarity or nudity, then we will withdraw their permission immediately."

India has strict censorship laws which ban material deemed "lascivious or appealing to prurient interests" and holding hands in public is frowned upon.