A Look Back with Tom Staebler, the Man Who Made Playboy’s “Look”


A great local story from the other day that we nearly forgot to post. It’s a feature in the Chicago Tribune about Tom Staebler, the longtime art director at Playboy. Has a great overview of his long, storied career, as well as individual bits about the magazine industry as a whole and specific celebrities he worked with in his day, like this story from working with Barbara Streisand:

“This whole thing was tough on all of us, in a way, but I really liked her. [Photographer] Mario Casilli shot it in his studio,” Staebler remembers.

“We had to take these photos out to her, for her approval. So we went out to her place in Malibu. He set up a slide projector and started going through the photos. We must have gone through 300 or 400 photos.

“Then Mario said, ‘Well, that’s it.’

“She said something like, ‘Where are the rest of them? You shot 612 photos.’

“He goes, ‘How do you know?’

“She said, ‘I counted them when you were shooting, so I would know if you were holding any back or not.’ “