My Las Vegas
Playboy's 2011 Playmate of the Year and PIN UP headliner loves living in Vegas—from vintage shopping to where to get a sweet treat, she shares it all.
Claire Sinclair knew she would one day become a pin-up model. When she was a child, she became enamored of the pin-up art her father collected, and told him “I’m going to do that when I grow up.” The pieces had one thing in common—they were all painted by Olivia De Beradinis, who contributed regularly to Playboy magazine. Just after Claire turned 18, Beradinis agreed to paint her, and invited her to the Playboy mansion to meet Hugh Hefner. Sinclair then did a test-shoot for the magazine and became one of the youngest Playmates in history to be crowned Playmate of the Year. She now calls Vegas home, and as the star of Stratosphere’s PIN UP, takes audiences month by month through a live pin-up calendar.
What pin-up model first inspired you?
In high school, I had nothing but Bettie Page photos in my binder—I’d walk around with my Bettie Page binder everywhere. She was my idol. I cut my bangs like Bettie Page, I dyed my hair black—I wanted to look as much like her as possible. I started dressing vintage inspired by her look.
Then you became the face of the Bettie Page line.
It was surreal. I went into the store—I scrimped to buy one dress, it was my prized possession. Two weeks later, the owners approached me and said “We want you to be our spokesmodel” and they sent me a box with everything they had in the store. It was this massive box with every dress—I felt like I won the lottery!
When did you get bitten by the performing bug?
I’d always be in films for my friends who were in film class or festivals. I didn’t know that I’d ever be on stage. Crazy Horse Paris, which was at the MGM Grand, asked me to guest-star for a week. I was 18 years old and an infant in the stage world. They had to train me for three weeks. It was intense. I cried after my stint was done. I got the bug really hard-core after that.
What was it like meeting Hugh Hefner?
I’ve never been more nervous in my whole life. He’s in the hallway [at the mansion] and keeps staring at me. One of his friends said I looked like Barbie Benton, Hef’s girlfriend in the ‘70s. Hef asked me for my number, so I gave it to him, and the next day I got a call from Playboy headquarters, to test as a Playmate. A week later, I get a voice mail from Hef that said, “Darling, I wanted to let you know that we’ve decided to have you become a Playmate.”