Elle (magazine)

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Cover of August 1993 with Stephanie Seymour and Marcus Schenkenberg, by Richard Avedon
EditorList of editors
FrequencyWeekly (France only)
Biweekly (China only)
Monthly (worldwide)
Circulation335,025 (France)[citation needed]
PublisherCarol Smith (also Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer)
FounderHélène Gordon-Lazareff
First issue
CompanyCzech Media Invest (Joint venture with Comcast pending)
LanguageBulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

Elle (stylized in all caps) is a worldwide women's magazine of French origin that offers a mix of fashion and beauty content, together with culture, society and lifestyle. The title means "she" or "her" in French. Elle is considered one of the world's largest fashion magazines, with 45 editions around the world and 46 local websites. It now counts 21 million readers and 100 million unique visitors per month, with an audience of mostly women. It was founded in Paris in 1945 by Hélène Gordon-Lazareff and her husband, the writer Pierre Lazareff. The magazine's readership has continuously grown since its founding, increasing to 800,000 across France by the 1960s. Elle editions have since multiplied, creating a global network of publications and readers. Elle's Japanese publication was launched in 1969, beginning an international expansion. Its first issues in English (US and UK) were launched in 1985. Both Elle and Vogue share similar goals to showcase the newest fashion yet Its main audiences are younger people compared to Vogue.

Previous editors of the magazine include Jean-Dominique Bauby, well known for his memoir, and Roberta Myers, the longest-serving editor-in-chief at Elle. Nina Garcia currently holds the position of editor-in-chief at Elle, appointed after the departure of Myers.

Along with the magazine, the Elle brand includes 33 websites that stretch globally and receive 370 million monthly views. The Lagardère Group of France owns the brand. The official Elle headquarters is located in Paris, with licensed publishers located in many other cities.


Hélène Gordon-Lazareff started Elle in Paris as an immediate aftermath of World War II. It was first sold as a supplement to France-Soir, edited at the time by Hélène's husband, Pierre Lazareff. Hélène, Elle's pioneering founder, returned to Paris from New York City to create a unique publication that grappled with the many forces shaping the lives of women in France in 1945.[1] Women won the right to vote in 1944,[2] and Elle dove immediately into long-form "newspaper-like" features on women's role in national politics and the growing feminist movement.[3] In the Elle articles featuring rising fashion designers, the magazine would provide free patterns of some of their fashion pieces. This allowed the general public to experience haute couture as the glamor of the fashion world was becoming accessible to the common working class.[4]

Its 100th issue, published on 14 October 1947,[5] featured the work of Christian Dior just eight months after his debut show. Likewise, Brigitte Bardot had her first Elle cover at age 17, on 7 January 1952, months before her screen debut in Manina, the Girl in the Bikini. By the 1960s, Elle had a readership of 800,000 across France and was said to "not so much reflect fashion as decree it." This dominance was reflected in the famous slogan: "Si elle lit, elle lit Elle" 'If she reads, she reads Elle'.[6]

Lagardère Group subsidiary, Hachette Filipacchi Médias began pushing Elle outside of Europe in 1969, launching its Japanese publication. In 1985, Elle launched in Britain and the United States.[7] The Chinese version of the magazine was first published in 1988. It was the first four-color fashion magazine offered in China. The magazine was used as an informational and educational tool for opening of the Chinese textile market.[8][9] By 1991, the magazine's sales were in decline in the U.S.[10]

In 1989, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. launched Elle Decor magazine, focusing on home decor.[11][12] Elle.com was launched in 2007.[13]

In 2011, The Hearst Corporation reached a €651M deal with Lagardère to purchase the rights to publish Elle Magazine in fifteen countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia and Ukraine.[14] Lagardère, which struggled in the international market in the 2000s, retained the rights to the French edition and would collect royalties from the international editions.[15]

Elle Brazil was the first commercial magazine in the world to have a transgender model on its cover, with Lea T. in December 2011. The Brazilian edition had also discovered transgender model Valentina Sampaio and had put her on the cover before French Vogue. Elle printed special collectors' covers for their September 2016 issue, and one of them featured Hari Nef, which was the first time an openly transgender woman had been on the cover of a major commercial British magazine.[16]

In 2019, Lagardère sold Elle France to Czech Media Invest, parent of Czech News Center. Lagardère continues to own the Elle brand.[17]

Notable editors-in-chief[edit]

Elle editors have included Jean-Dominique Bauby, who became known for writing a book after suffering almost total paralysis, and Robbie Myers.[18] In September 2017, it was announced that Roberta Myers was stepping down from the role of editor-in-chief, position she held since 2000, stating through a memo to the staff that "I want to spend the next seasons as available to my children as I can be, and so I take my leave of Elle now".[19] A day later of the announcement, it was reported that Nina Garcia, creative director of Marie Claire was appointed as the new editor-in-chief effective 18 September.[20] Patricia Wang was the first editor of Elle China.[21]


Total paid circulation[22]
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Circulation 370,658 404,037 402,989 401,332 384,704 352,390 342,981 333,141 340,690 342,453 339,151


Elle includes region-specific editions within countries, such as Elle Hong Kong and Elle Québec which are published in addition to Elle China and Elle Canada respectively. In Belgium, Elle is published as two magazines for the Flanders and Wallonia regions, while Elle Middle East is targeted at several countries in the region.[23] Technologically speaking, the Elle brand is a global network encompassing over 33 websites. Subscriptions account for 73 percent of readers. There are 33 Elle websites globally, which collectively attract over 25 million unique visitors and 370 million page views per month.[24] The magazine reaches over 69 million readers. The vast majority (82 percent) of Elle's audience are women between the ages of 18 and 49. Its readers have a median age of 34.7 years.[23] 40 percent of the readers are single, and the median household income is $69,973.[25] "Our readers are young enough to think about life as an adventure and old enough to have the means to live it", said Roberta Myers, editor in chief.[26]

The first international edition of Elle was launched in Japan in 1969.[27][28][29] Its U.S. and UK editions were launched in 1985.[28][30] Spain followed in 1986[31] with Italy and Hong Kong editions launching in 1987.[28] In 1988, the magazine was launched in Germany, Brazil, China, Sweden, Greece and Portugal. The next year, the Netherlands and Quebec joined the international Elle community. Australia and Taiwan versions were launched in 1990, Mexico and Argentina in 1994, and a Russian edition, published monthly, launched in 1996.[32]

Elle as a brand is owned by the Lagardère Group of France. It is published in France by Czech Media Invest, in the U.S. and the UK by Hearst Magazines, in Canada by KO Média, in Brazil by Grupo Editora Abril, in Mexico by Grupo Expansión, in Argentina by Grupo Clarín, in Indonesia by Mayapada, in Singapore by Atlas Press PTE LTD., in Serbia/Croatia by Adria Media, in Turkey by Doğan Burda Magazine,[33] in Germany by Hubert Burda Media, and in Romania by Ringier. In China, the publisher is Shanghai Translation Publishing House.[9] In India it is published by Ogaan Publications Pvt. Ltd. As an international magazine, Elle has its headquarters in Paris as well as licensed publishers in New York City, London, Toronto, Mexico City, South Africa, Istanbul, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Lisbon, Tokyo, Warsaw, Belgrade, Oslo, Helsinki, Bucharest, Athens, Delhi, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Jakarta, Kyiv, Kuala Lumpur, Sofia, Budapest, Bangkok and other cities.

In December 2013, Elle hired Randy Minor as design director.[34] In November 2016, Elle Canada promoted Vanessa Craft to editor-in-chief, making her the first black woman at the helm of an Elle magazine globally.[35]

In mid-July 2020, Elle's Australian publisher Bauer Media Australia and New Zealand, which had been acquired by Mercury Capital, terminated the magazine's Australian edition, citing declining advertising revenue and travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.[36][37] As of 2021, Elle is being published by Are Media, the successor to Bauer Media Australia.[38]

At the end of 2021, ELLE announced that all global editions would ban fur from their pages as of Jan. 1, 2023, citing "a really great opportunity to increase awareness for animal welfare, bolster the demand for sustainable and innovative alternatives and foster a more humane fashion industry."[39] In recent years a number of fashion houses and retailers have discontinued the use of animal fur and skin in their products due to pressure from animal rights groups who are calling for more cruelty-free clothing options and changing tastes from younger, ethically minded customers.


  • Julie Dessagne (France)[40]
  • Nina Garcia (US)[34]
  • Kenya Hunt (UK)
  • Winnie Wan (HK)
  • Genevra Leek (Australia)
  • Arlette Barrionuevo & Gabriela Silvestre (Argentina)
  • Kamna Malik (India)
  • Xiao Xue (China)
  • Melda Narmanlı Çimen (Turkey)
  • Joanna Fox (Canada)
  • Joanna Fox (Quebec)
  • Caroline Suganda (Singapore)
  • Kullawit Laosuksri (Thailand)
  • Cecilie Ingdal (Denmark)
  • Sonya Zabouga (Ukraine)
  • Barbara Sekirnik (Slovenia)
  • Ruben William Steven (Indonesia)
  • Dariya Nogayeva (Kazakhstan)
  • Ana Ostojic (Serbia)
  • Pam Hothi (South Africa)
  • Lien Chi Nguyen (Vietnam)
  • Roxana Voloseniuc (Romania)
  • Nambi Kezic (Croatia)
  • Benedetta Poletti (Spain)
  • Marta Drożdż (Poland)
  • Maria Georgieva (Bulgaria)
  • Susana Barbosa (Brazil)
  • Thea Kučerová (Czech Republic)
  • Danda Santini (Italy)
  • Julia Juyeon Kang (Korea)
  • Kate Guest (Malaysia) - not in charge as of 2022
  • Sabine Nedelchev (Germany)
  • Kanako Sakai (Japan - Digital EIC)
  • Maria Patoucha (Greece)
  • Signy Fardal (Norway)
  • Florence Lu (Taiwan)
  • Dina Spahi (Arabia)
  • Nada Kabbani (Arabia - Digital EIC)
  • Claudia Cándano (Mexico)
  • Cia Jansson (Sweden)
  • Marie Guérin (Belgium)
  • Anke de Jong (Netherlands)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weiner, Susan (1999). "Two Modernities: From "Elle" to "Mademoiselle". Women's Magazines in Postwar France". Contemporary European History. 8 (3): 395–409. doi:10.1017/S0960777399003045. ISSN 0960-7773. JSTOR 20081719. PMID 20120562. S2CID 32621538.
  2. ^ "21 avril 1944 : les Françaises ont (enfin) le droit de voter". TV5MONDE (in French). 24 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. ^ "ELLE: The Making of a Modern Magazine". The Fashion Law. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  4. ^ "You are being redirected..." thetempest.co. 18 August 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Vintage advertisement, fashion, arts, erotica, printed collectibles – Paris, France". hprints.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Magazines: Si Elle Lit, Elle Lit Elle". Time. 22 May 1964. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  7. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (16 April 1985). "ADVERTISING; The Elle Magazine Campaign". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  8. ^ "ELLE magazine heading for China's fashion-hungry". UPI. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  9. ^ a b Yang Feng; Katherine Frith (Fall 2008). "The Growth of International Women's Magazines in China and the Role of Transnational Advertising" (PDF). AEJMC Magazine. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  10. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (17 February 1991). "Hachette Is Paying For Its Hubris". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Top 10 Best Interior Design Magazines on USA". Home Design. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  12. ^ "What I found at Manchester Collection under $100". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Fipp's top magazine innovations for 2011". Campaign. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Hearst Leaps to New Level With Deal for Lagardere Magazine Portfolio". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  15. ^ Pfanner, Jeremy W. Peters and Eric (31 January 2011). "Hearst to Buy 100 Magazines From Lagardère". DealBook. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  16. ^ Sarah Hughes (30 July 2016). "Meet Hari Nef: actor, model – and Elle's first transgender cover girl in UK |Society". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  17. ^ Fleur Burlet (15 February 2019). "Lagardère Completes Sale of French Elle to Czech Media Invest". WWD. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Denis Boyles on EuroPress". National Review Online. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Robbie Myers to Exit Elle Magazine". The Business of Fashion. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Nina Garcia Appointed Editor-in-Chief at Elle". The Business of Fashion. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  21. ^ "ELLE magazine heading for China's fashion-hungry". UPI. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Elle - ACPM". www.acpm.fr. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Elle overview". Hachette Filipacchi. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2007.
  24. ^ Media News - TV Ratings - Television Programming Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine Media Week.
  25. ^ "Elle reader demographics". Hachette Filipacchi. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2007.
  26. ^ Branding - Corporate Branding - Internet Brand Marketing Brand Week.
  27. ^ Mariko Morimoto; Susan Chang (2009). "Western and Asian Models in Japanese Fashion Magazine Ads". Journal of International Consumer Marketing. 21 (3): 173–187. doi:10.1080/08961530802202701. S2CID 167309890.
  28. ^ a b c Helena Hafstrand (1995). "Consumer Magazines in Transition". The Journal of Media Economics. 8 (1). Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  29. ^ Ping Shaw (1999). "Internationalization of the women's magazine industry in Taiwan context, process and influence". Asian Journal of Communication. 9 (2): 17–38. doi:10.1080/01292989909359623.
  30. ^ Di Hand; Steve Middleditch (10 July 2014). Design for Media: A Handbook for Students and Professionals in Journalism, PR, and Advertising. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-317-86402-8. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  31. ^ Ana Almansa-Martínez; Ruth Gómez de Travesedo-Rojas (2017). "Stereotypes about women in Spanish high-end women's magazines during the economic crisis" (PDF). RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social. 72: 608–628. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  32. ^ Jukka Pietiläinen (2008). "Media Use in Putin's Russia". Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. 24 (3): 365–385. doi:10.1080/13523270802267906.
  33. ^ "Doğan Burda Magazine". Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  34. ^ a b Alexandra Steigrad (19 December 2013). "Elle Magazine Names Design Director". WWD. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  35. ^ "ELLE Canada has a New Editor-in-Chief - Masthead Online News".
  36. ^ Doyle, Michael (21 July 2020). "InStyle, Elle, Women's Health, Men's Health among Australian magazines axed by Bauer Media". ABC News. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  37. ^ Meade, Amanda (20 July 2020). "Mercury Capital axes eight former Bauer magazines, including Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Men's Health". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  38. ^ "ELLE Australia - Fashion For The Stylish". Are Media. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  39. ^ Marie-louise Gumuchian, "ELLE magazine bans fur in all its titles to support animal welfare," Reuters, 3 December 2021.
  40. ^ Williams, Robert (30 November 2016). "Erin Doherty Named Editor in Chief of French Elle". WWD. Retrieved 17 June 2019.

External links[edit]