Hélène Gordon-Lazareff

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Hélène Gordon-Lazareff (21 September 1909 – 16 February 1988) was a French journalist of Russian Jewish origin who founded Elle magazine in 1945. She was married to Pierre Lazareff, founder of the newspaper France-Soir.


Born in Russia, Hélène Gordon-Lazareff fled to France from the Bolshevik Revolution. She studied ethnography at the Sorbonne. She began her career as a journalist in the 1930s, writing the children's page for France-Soir under the name "Tante Juliette".[1] She later married the owner of the newspaper, Pierre Lazareff in 1938. The couple[2] left Paris for New York after the outbreak of World War II. Gordon-Lazareff was easily integrated into journalist circles in New York because of her perfect English.[3] She became an editor of the women's page of the New York Times after working for Harper's Bazaar and. She returned to Paris in 1944 a couple of weeks after the city was liberated. She decided to start her own fashion magazine and used the experience she had after having worked for several American magazines. A year later the first issue of Elle magazine was published in October "on paper so course that it reminded her of French bread".[4] After a year journalist Françoise Giroud was hired to take over as editor-in-chief of the magazine when Gordon-Lazareff became seriously ill. In Profession Journaliste Françoise Giroud describes Gordon-Lazareff as "a brilliant, young woman".[5]