ELLE magazine, founded in France in 1945, now boasts the title of the world’s best selling fashion magazine. The title, which is French for “she” was chosen by founders Pierre Lazareff and his wife Helene Gordon. Overall, ELLE encourages women to express their style and enjoy being a women.
Although it struggled in the ‘60s, today, the magazine has grown to publish 44 editions in over 60 countries and is owned by Hearst Communications. The publication has an audience of over 5,800,000, 88 percent of which are women with a median age of 34. ELLE is more than a simple fashion review publication. Although it contains tips and tricks on make-up and fashion, it also features dating, culture and lifestyle articles, as well as sweepstakes.
ELLE’s manifesto claims that while they believe in all the glorious paradoxes of fashion, including smart, superficial, exclusive, inclusive, fun, serious, artsy and commerce; they also contend that a well-dressed woman with nothing to say is just a mannequin with DNA. In addition they believe that neurotic behavior should be embraced and explored.
Even as society attempts to invalidate certain gender stereotypes, ELLE publishes articles and tips and believes that a woman’s sex appeal should be celebrated. Perhaps exploiting certain stereotypes, ELLE believes that a great pair of shoes can change lives, or at least make a woman’s day. The publication is certainly a long way from being a simply fashion journal, and it seems they make no apologies over their love of fashion.