I don’t know if there was ever a point in my life where I didn’t love browsing through a good magazine. Back in the day, publications like BOP and Tiger Beat were my signature favorites; obsessing over pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Leonardo Dicaprio occupied a good deal of my time. Though I still thoroughly enjoy a great snapshot of these former teen heartthrobs from time to time, I’ve set my sights on the sort of reading materials that better correlate with my current age bracket. In my mid-twenties, I’ve replaced Tiger Beat with the glossy pages of fashion magazines, and the large poster sized images of JTT, with layouts of trendsetting items. It’s so incredible to me that these magazines have inspired such a large audience to follow their advice on a month-to-month basis that I’ve decided to take a closer look at their publishing history.
Believe it or not, Vogue magazine made its first debut all the way back in 1892. After switching ownership, the US based publication went international in the 1920’s developing major success in countries like Spain, Great Britain, France and Italy. Vogue has featured prominent pop culture icons in the modelling such as Twiggy and Lauren Hutton. Today’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour is an emblem of the fashion industry even having a fictionalized movie based on her lifestyle and work in “The Devil Wears Prada.” If you’ve done the math correctly, this year marks Vogue’s 120th anniversary.
Cosmopolitan or as it is more commonly known “Cosmo,” was founded in 1886 in the United States. It began as a family oriented magazine until around 1889 when it underwent new management transforming it into something more similar to a literary journal offering book reviews and fictional pieces by famous authors like Edith Wharton, Rudyard Kipling and Ambrose Bierce. Who knew? It wasn’t until 1967 that then appointed editor-in-chief Helen Gurley moved the magazines focus away from literature and towards a new target audience of women. Gurley aimed to focus on sexual issues, a still relatively taboo area of American culture. Then it was very controversial, today however it is one of the nation’s leading magazines in fashion health, beauty and relationships.
Though not nearly as old as Vogue or Cosmopolitan, Elle was founded in France in 1945. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the magazine made its transatlantic journey to the United States. It was only a matter of time until Elle became one of the largest and most widespread magazine company’s of all time with 42 international editions. Their readership is calculated to be at 4.8 million and their websites averaging 26 million page views per month.
With a circulation of 1.7 million, you’d be surprised to know InStyle has only been around since 1991. Though it is relatively young, the magazine has made some pretty impressive and bold moves in order to standout amongst its competitors. Instyle has been among the first few to have musical artists and actors grace their cover pages in lieu of models. They also offer a celebrity home section to their magazines in addition to other areas that include fashion, beauty, health, entertaining, home and charities.