We are in Mexico to produce this incredible pictorial as the warming  up act for the Football World Cup – Mundial 1986, to be hosted by this land of the mystical Aztecs.  Brainchild of Jan, I am the one in charge of bringing it all together with Playboy’s then existing twelve international editions. I am able to get only nine to participate. Missing most notably are Italy and Spain, and  sadly Holland, which didn’t even qualify. Quite an emotional blow for Jan to contain, while cheering everyone else. He brings instead Chantal Aarts of Belgium, because the Dutch edition is also distributed in Belgium. Bebe Martinez of Argentina either couldn’t afford to or wasn’t able to find an appropriate candidate, or both to send a girl of his own. I find one for him from our files,  the beautiful Evelyn Escalante from Costa Rica and put her in the Argentine blue and white stripes. It would have been devastating, had we not been able  to include Argentina, as they went on to win the Cup 3:2 against West Germany. This wasn’t an international cricket tournament, so Australia obviously wasn’t enthused. But Japan’s Emi Kojo, Turkey’s Sumer Ilken and America’s Andrea Huber came along for the fun of it and in the spirit of cooperation to partake in what Jan calls Playboyesque World Cup happening.  The logistics are abominable.  But we don’t think about the difficulties we may encounter, we just take a plunge, because the exotic scenario I have described above is all in a day’s work for us.

Jan and I arrive in Mexico City on Sunday, February 24th. Meet with our Mexican publisher Irina Schwartzman, and the editor-in-chief Eduardo Velazquez. On Monday, the rest begin to trickle in and check into Hotel Krystal Rosa – the meeting point from where we would begin.

The first one to arrive is Sumer (Ilken) from Istanbul. She has picked up a wrong suitcase and has walked through the customs without realizing it. Those friendly Mexicans!! They don’t care what you walk out with from the airport as long as you spend your tourists $$££¥¥€€ in their country. How dumb can you have to be? She is only twenty one. Only? But this is not the time to ask questions. However, Sumer seems to have a thing about forgetting things. A few days later,  she loses her sun glasses and then she arrives without her uniform to the stadium in Querétaro . This follows the last minute rush for someone to run down to her hotel room and bring the uniform to the stadium where we are preparing to shoot various mock tableaus to give the upcoming World Cup some real sex appeal. Sumer gets away with everything with disarming smiles and cuddles.

The shoot goes swell with the girls playing like a team of the friendly rivals and we stage various soccer situations such as dueling for and heading the ball, kicking a penalty shot, which results in Luiza shooting the ball so hard that it lands on the face of the West German goalie, Michaela Probst, knocking her down flat.  There is a tender shot of Luiza bending over and comforting Michaela in pain, lying on the ground. Sweet! The sexiest shot is that of all the girls taking off their shirts at the end of the game and swapping them with each other in good old football tradition of leaving the field with no hard feelings.

All goes well and without a hitch, that is; until at the last minute Jan comes up with the idea of perhaps do some sexy shots of the girls showering, getting out of their uniform, sitting around on the benches – sort of doing post game unwinding. Even though we have official permission to shoot in the stadium, soon as the maintenance staff realizes that we are photographing the girls in the locker room, with their uniforms serving as mere props, something triggers in them and they rush to get a sideway glances at the bare bodies and then promptly and  unceremoniously throwing us out with, Señor, eso no se puede ser .

Déjà vu of the couple of days earlier when we had gone to the Pyramids to do some group shots of the girls playing tourists, fully draped of course, albeit short shorts and tight fitting tops. Along the way, Luiza decides to make those tops sexier. As it turns out. she is very handy with the pair of scissors and t-shirts are slashed up this way and that to selectively reveal what the Pyramid authorities deem to be a bit much for the innocent eyes of the watching Mayan Gods. So off we’re sent on our way back to the hotel.

Pages: 1 2 3 4