Top 10 Fashion Magazines - Elle, Harper s BAZAAR, Vogue, Marie
by Greg Allard
originally published in Silent Charm in parts 1 and 2
Nylon magazine is an American-based pop-culture and fashion magazine started in 1999 with a circulation today of 216,466.
The magazine has radar, fashion and style pages. It is based in New York and published by Dana Fields.
The first Nylon cover subject was Liv Tyler in April 1999, photographed and interviewed by Helena Christensen.
The magazine has established a significant social media presence. By early 2014, Nylon was active on Instagram, had over 700,000 Twitter followers, and a million Facebook fans.
Ashley Baker is the executive editor.
In 2003, Nylon Guys, a male counterpart magazine, was established by the company.
V was established in September of 1999 by Visionaire in New York.
It is a bi-monthly fashion and pop-culture magazine and was an off-shoot and daughter magazine of the quarterly-published and limited-edition Visionaire. whose back issues are now highly valued among fashion and furnisher enthusiasts.
V is edited by Stephen Gan and its editorial policy tends to fill its content with new American fashion with shoots that display it through the subjects of film, music, art and fashion.
The cover of its magazine has been graced with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Winona Ryder, Mariah Carey, Tyra Banks, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Celine Dion, Kesha, Britney Spears and many more.
VMAN, its male-counterpart magazine began in 2003 and is published quarterly.
W is an American fashion magazine that was created by Fairchild Publications in 1972, who also published Women’s Wear Daily, and was bought out by publishing giant Condé Nast Publications in 1999.
Of its 469,000 circulation, 80 percent of its readers are female and in an income bracket of over 5,000 annually.
The magazine’s format is oversized — 10-inches wide by 13-inches tall.
W has been involved in a number of controversies — one involving Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, in which the shoot was set in 1950′s suburbia during the supposed year of 1963, when disillusionment with the American dream was about to spill over between the time of the Kennedy assassination and the oncoming counter-culture revolution.
Another controversy involved alleged touched-up photos of Demi Moore. both the magazine and Moore denied that a model was used to replace different parts of her body, which were more rotund than the model’s.
The magazine has also featured gender-bending and pansexual articles that have sometimes shocked their readership.
Complex is a bi-monthly magazine established in New York in 2002 by fashion designer Marc Ecko.
The magazine aims at young men between the ages of 16 to 29 and reports on tendencies in fashion, music, technology, art and design, sports and video games, and has a regular supply of good-looking women filling their pages, although they are nothing like the young man’s magazine Maxim in this regard, which has been accused of teaching young men to treat women as objects.
Complex particularly focuses on urban culture, with some of their fortes being hip-hop, street wear, graphic art and sneaker fashion.
The magazine has achieved a circulation of 500,000 in just a little more than 10 years and gets more than 90 million unique views to their site every month.
Rich Antoniello is the CEO, while Noah Callahan-Bever is the editor-in-chief and chief content officer.
The magazine is known to try to transcend race by featuring hip-hop artists with rock stars together on their covers.
Esquire is a monthly men’s fashion magazine launched in 1932 by Hearst with a circulation of 721,399.
The magazine has a long and storied history and grew enormously during the years of The Great Depression.
It is most known recently for launching The Sexiest Women Alive honor, which Angelina Jolie won in its 2004 inception year and Scarlett Johansson won in 2013 for the second time, making her the first woman to do so (she also won in 2006).
The magazine has gone through many changes over the years, including the Dubious Achievement Awards, a annual gag-award article they had for many years that lampooned current events from the previous year and that often had a picture of Richard Nixon that said “Why is this man laughing?”
From 1969 to 1976, Gordon Lish served as fiction editor and became known as Captain Fiction as he assisted and nurtured many young authors who appeared in the magazine and went on to have stellar careers.
15. Harper’s Bazaar
Harper’s Bazaar was founded in 1867 by Mary Louise Booth and published by Hearst at that time.
It is a women’s fashion magazine that has been concerned from the start at being the first to buy the best in fashion and couture or specific fashion design according to client.
To this day it is aimed at sophisticated and upper-class connoisseurs of fashion.
As of the first half of 2013, it had a circulation of 734,504.
Its editor-in-chief is Glenda Bailey in the United States and it has worldwide presence with versions of its magazine in different languages all over the world.
When the magazine started, it was a weekly publication but became a monthly magazine in 1901, which it has maintained to this day.
14. Marie Claire
Marie Claire is an international women’s magazine that started in France in 1937, when Jean Prouvost and Marcelle Auclair founded the magazine.
It was originally published by Hearst, which continues to publish it to this day.
When it first came out, it was published on Wednesdays and continued uninterrupted up until the present day except, perhaps, when Germany occupied France during World War II.
The US edition, which has existed since 1994, has a monthly readership of 913,676.
The magazine centers around women’s fashion, lifestyle and beauty topics and features women from all over the world, thus giving young women a glimpse at life beyond their home country.
The magazine is currently based in New York City but it publishes all around the world.
GQ, formerly Gentlemen’s Quarterly, is a quarterly-published magazine for men that focuses on improving a man’s fashion, style and culture.
It also covers technology, sports, travel, music, fitness, sex and books.
When it was first published in 1931, it was intended as a insider’s magazine for wholesale buyers and retail salesmen of the clothing industry.
Such advice, which was originally intended to go from retailer to customer, has long skipped the retailer and gone straight to the customer, and the result is the most successful fashion magazine for men in the US.
The magazine has a readership of 964,264 and is published by Condé Nast in New York City.
Actually, the magazine was originally published as Apparel Arts in 1931 and changed its name to Gentlemen’s Quarterly in 1957.
12. Teen Vogue
Teen Vogue focuses on fashion and celebrities and started out as a teenage version of the popular Vogue Magazine.
The magazine started in 2004 at a smaller selling size, giving it the size flexibility to get into digest selling slots in stores and magazine stands across the country.
The publication, which has a glossy template, looks like a mini Vogue in every way except the advice involving female sensuality, which is just a bit more conservative.
The articles have many tame titles such as “Makeup Tips for Girls with Glasses,” and “Should You Give Your Ex a Second Chance.”
The magazine keeps up with all the fashion trends and styles for young women and interviews young woman celebrities such as Emma Stone, Selena Gomez and Lorde.
It had a readership of 1,023,669 as of early 2013.
Essence is an African-American women’s fashion magazine that started in 1968 and that concentrates on lifestyle, fashion and beauty.
Although it was founded in 1968, it began publishing in 1970.
The magazine’s demographic is aimed at women between the ages of 18 to 49 and has a girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone throughout.
It concentrates on fashion, lifestyle, women’s issues, African American issues and specifically African American women’s issues.
Their slogan is “Fierce, fun and fabulous” and they are quite concerned with featuring good celebrity role models and encouraging African American women to become empowered to become better human beings.
The magazine is all about embracing your race, gender, species and own individual path to make the world a better place.
The magazine is published by Time, Inc. and has a monthly circulation of 1,061,103.
Lucky, the magazine that advertises itself as “the ultimate shopping guide,” was started in December 2000 by Condé Nast and has become one of their biggest success stories, going from a circulation of 500,000 initially to 1,122,117 today.
The magazine is written in the voice of a best friend talking to her girlfriend about some of the best products to buy out in the fashion world. It not only suggests what to wear but how to wear it as well.
It promotes itself as speaking in the voice of “a friend in the know.”
“Yes” and “maybe” stickers, a creation of Lucky, are supplied with each magazine to help its reader decide what they want to buy within the pages of each issue.
At its inception, the critics panned Lucky for being somewhere between an infomercial and an editorial magazine. Later, most of the critics either shut up or actually praised the publication for giving a more objective analysis of the products it featured.
Because it is a shopping magazine, Lucky was hit hard by the recession of 2009 and is just now recovering.
Elle is the world’s largest fashion magazine with over 6.6 million readers a month. In the US, it comes in 9th place with a circulation of 1,128,186.
The publication has 43 international issues in over 60 countries.
The magazine started in France in 1945. In the 1960s, its motto was, “Si elle lit elle lit Elle (If she reads, she reads Elle).” And indeed, she probably did.
In the US, Elle is published by Hearst and Robbie Myers is the editor, a position in which he has been very successful at since he took the post in the year 2000.
Over 80 percent of Elle readers are women between the ages of 18 and 49. The median readership age is 34.9 years and the median household income is just below ,000.
Their international websites in total attract more than 25 million unique hits and 370 million page view per month.
Allure is a women’s beauty magazine published by Conté Nast in New York City and has a readership circulation of 1,165,392 a month.
It was founded by Linda Wells, at the urging of S.I. Newhouse Jr., chairman of Condé Nast, and then editorial director Alexander Liberman, and she has remained editor-in-chief since the magazine’s inception in 1991.
Prior to that, Wells had been both the food editor and beauty editor for New York Times Magazine.
Allure began as an oversized magazine, but after only four issues in 1991, switched to a standard-size glossy presentation.
In the year 2000, Wells introduced Allure’s Best in Beauty awards, with two sets of honors, one given by the magazine’s editors and one given by its readers. The winning products are often seen with an award logo on them.
The awards are given out among makeup, hair-care and skin-care products.
While with Allure in 2006, Wells had her first book published, Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor.
7. Vanity Fair
Magazine publications with the title of Vanity Fair have had a number of runs. In Britain, the weekly society magazine by that name ran from 1868-1914.
In America, Condé Montrose Nast (eventually founder of Condé Nast Publications) published a society magazine with the same name from 1913-1936.
When Condé Montrose Nas (1873-1942) began his publishing empire in 1913 by purchasing the men’s fashion magazine Dress, he renamed the magazine Vanity Fair and experienced great success into the 1920s. The Great Depression curtailed that success, however, and by 1936, Vanity Fair merged its identity into Vogue, with Vogue taking over some of its most essential parts.
Finally, in 1983, the current monthly-issued Vanity Fair was published in America by Condé Nast, focusing on culture, fashion, and politics.
The magazine currently has a monthly circulation of 1,217,439.
Today’s Vanity Fair has become popular largely because of its photography, some of which has been controversial. Famous photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino and Herb Ritts have put current celebrities on its covers with often far-reaching results. Leibovitz, for example, was responsible for photographing a pregnant Demi Moore in the nude for its August 1991 cover — a cover which has become an historical moment in pop culture.
Arthur Turnure founded Vogue in 1892 and ran the publication for more than 12 years before being bought out by Condé Montrose Nast in 1905.
In the 1930′s, the magazine began to replace its famous illustrated covers with photographs, leading some critics and historians to say that Vogue commenced the decline of fashion illustration.
In the 1960s, with Diana Vreeland as editor-in-chief, the magazine started to attract the counterculture with its open talk about sex and its newfound concentration on contemporary fashion.
With this in mind, Vogue started covering New York East Village boutiques like Limbo at St. Marks Place and personalities such as Andy Warhol.
When the country’s trends eased out of hippie consciousness, the magazine changed its focused audience under new Editor-in-Chief Grace Mirabella. Her 17 years of tenure later become known as the beige years, reflecting upon the fact that Mirabella changed Vreeland’s office walls from red to beige and also for the fact that the magazine had drifted over that time into boredom and mediocrity.
In 1988, Anna Wintour became the new editor-in-chief (a post she still holds today), and by concentrating on a younger demographic, revived the magazine’s enormous popularity. Currently, Vogue has a monthly readership of 1.296,765.
InStyle is an American fashion makeup, beauty, and celebrity lifestyle magazine published by Time, Inc, that was founded in 1994, with its inaugural issue featuring Barbara Streisand on the cover.
In just 20 years, it has become the fifth-most popular fashion magazine in the United States with a monthly circulation level of 1.775, 821. The magazine also currently has editions in 17 other countries.
Interesting cover models have included Sarah Jessica Parker, who appeared in 1995 (pre Sex and the City) on their first Hollywood Fitness issue, and Michael Jordan, who appeared as the first male on the cover in December, 1996. Goldie Hawn appeared on the cover with her then 17-year-old daughter, Kate Hudson, being the first to model denim jeans on their cover in August of 1996.
In September of 2008, 34-year-old male Ariel Foxman took over the managing editor role, becoming the first man to do so despite 92 percent of the magazine’s audience being female. His accolades include graduating from Harvard College magna cum laude, being a judge on the TV show “Project Accessory” and being named one of the most powerful fashion magazine editors by Forbes in 2009.
While many of these magazines may not be only strictly fashion magazines, they have enough element of fashion in them to merit them to be on our list, in my humble opinion.
Seventeen, a magazine that probably falls into that category, has a target audience of maturing girls ages 12 to 19, and covers fashion, beauty, celebrity , pop culture and girl power in general.
In was started in 1944 as a fashion-romance magazine that was committed to girls developing their self-confidence and becoming role models for the next generation of girls coming up.
The magazine has changed hands several times, most recently when Primedia sold its ownership to Hearst.
In the early 1980s, Whitney Houston became one of the first black cover models of the magazine. Before that, back in 1950, destined-to-be famous poet Sylvia Plath submitted her first short story, “And Summer Will Not Come Again” in 45 pieces.
Ann Shoket is currently the editor of the publication.
Redbook began in Chicago in 1903 as Redbook Illustrated. If you’ve ever wondered why the magazine goes by its name, its first editor, Trumbull White, explained the choice of name as follows, ““Red is the color of cheerfulness, of brightness, of gayety.” The name was changed to The Red Book Magazine shortly thereafter.
In the early years, Redbook tried to have something for everyone and pretty much succeeded by publishing short stories by authors like Jack London, Sinclair lewis and Edith Wharton. In 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs had a series of Tarzan stories published by the magazine.
In 1929, the name was changed again, this time to Redbook, a name it has stuck with ever since. Two years before that, Edwin Palmer, a short-story writer who had been on staff was named editor. Under his direction, the magazine published works by writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shirley Temple’s mother Gertrude and Eleanor Roosevelt.
While the magazine is targeted at married women, and encourages them in their personal growth, the magazine itself claims to be about sex, love, beauty, fashion, food, home, mom, kids, mind, body, money, career, and a woman’s proverbial downtime.
The magazine currently has a monthly circulation of 2,229,809, is published by Hearst and has Jill Herzig as its editor-in-chief.
Originally called Glamour of Hollywood when it was published in 1939 by Conde Nast, Glamour has today become one of the biggest fashion and women’s magazines in the world, and ranks second in the United States with a monthly circulation of 2.300,854.
The magazine targets women between the ages of 18 and 49.
Under its current editor-in-chief, Cynthia Leive, Glamour has become a force to reckon with. Every year the magazine holds the “Glamour Women of the year Awards,” which honors women who are in the public eye.
Under Leive, the awards have expanded to over 20 categories. In 2013, Lady Gaga was given the 34th annual Women of the Year Award.
Glamour has magazines in many other countries, including Brazil, the UK, Germany, South Africa, France and Poland.
Cosmopolitan magazine, known affectionately as Cosmo, for short, is the largest selling women’s and fashion magazine in the United States with a readership of 3,017,987 per month.
The magazine started in 1866 as a literary magazine and in 1966 became a women’s magazine.
It is published by Hearts Publications and Joanna Coles is its current editor-in-chief.
When it first started out in 1866, it was touted by Paul Schlicht, one of its founders, as being a first-class family magazine.
Today one might say, that the magazine has strayed from that original ideal greatly with its often racy content and sex advice to women. Of course, that was nearly 150 years ago.
Some regular features and awards by Cosmopolitan includes the Fun, Fearless Female and Male of the Year Award, which started in 1998.Share on social media