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Most Popular Fashion Magazine In History

Write By: Valentin Rosca on


Oh, this is a tough one. Many people believe that some fashion magazines are the number one in history, but the truth is always going to be a little vague. Why? Because it’s a game of numbers and opinions. Let’s put it simply like this: there are more people who have opinions that those who actually know anything about the subject. Opinions tend to spread faster, right? So it is most likely that the magazine you know to be most famous is not actually the one true heir to the throne. People just think that another one is and that makes things super complicated. As if things were not already messed up, let’s talk about numbers… which we do not have.


I order to really determine how popular a magazine is, we have to look at their numerical evolution since the day they started: for how long have they been on the market and how many people used to read them until today. We do not have these numbers. The magazines do, but they are also free to play with them as they please. ”We’ve had 5 million worldwide readers last month!” Great, but how do we know that’s the truth? The competition is super strong between fashion magazines and there is always a possibility that they rig the numbers in their favor but just a bit. The show must go on. And the stakes are too high to be left to chance. We are not sure what the most popular magazine in the world is, but we can definitely tell you all the worthy participants. They have been mentioned over and over again and we can guarantee that you are familiar with all of these names. The truth is that, in the end, the most popular magazine is the one you deem worthy of being the number one.  




Girl-wears-a-brown-hatElle is not a magazine that you heard nothing about. It’s been around for many years and it also provides excellent news both from fashion history and day to day women’s activities. Elle is a magazine that was made for you. It caters to your beauty needs, it gives solid advice and it is a source that you can always rely on. Given the fact that we live in the Information Era and you are unsure of what everyone is saying, Elle is always there as a great source for all of your fashion needs. Its headquarters are in France, although it is interesting to know that it is mostly printed in North America and Brazil. Specifically, it is located in Paris, but great cities of the world such as London, Brussels, Toronto and Mexico City have come to its aid so that it could easily become one of the world’s most prestigious magazines. It worked and it is considered by many to be the most popular magazine of its kind. It caters to all your needs when it comes to fashion, health, beauty and entertainment. The magazine has faced some controversy, however. Not because its quality is questionable, but because the world is slowly shifting towards the online, so there is no actual need to pursue old-school magazines when everybody can read it on the internet. Although Elle is very aware of this situation, the magazine still continues to be printed to this day for obvious reasons: readers are still enjoying a good magazine in their hands, even though everything is slowly moving to the internet, they still order the magazine and, above everything else, clients are very well aware of the quality that Elle stands for and decides that the expansion of the magazine’s life is an essential one. Thus, it is still going to be produced and purchased until further notice.  




Girl-is-waiting-the-train Competitively speaking, Vogue and Elle are sworn enemies. Not to think that there is some sort of rivalry in between the two, but speaking strictly competition-wise, these two have been aiming at the number one spot for a very long time. There is one very specific reason as to why this fashion magazine is considered to be better than Elle: it’s been around for way longer than the former was. Elle was founded back in 1945, but Vogue started its life in 1892. That gives it a few years of experience ahead of Elle, but we do have to admit that the context was very, very different. Comparing a pre-20th century weekly newspaper that operated in America with a post-World War II magazine that just started in Paris was a very long shot. If we look at both magazines today, they share the same interest levels, more or less, they are all available throughout the world and we have all heard about them. On top of that, all models across the world are usually featured in both magazines. So it is rather safe to assume that they both enjoy the same kind of popularity. Vogue also had some difficult times with issues released in the past, particularly the ones released in 2013. Since the world of fashion is changing at such a rapid pace, beauty standards are also changing.


This is why skinny became the new beautiful. It was not a subject that was taken lightly. Just as Calvin Klein had to deal with the plus size scandal a few years back (and it’s still dealing with it today), Vogue is dealing with the “skinny scandal”. At one point, in 2013, Edwina McCann, a well-known editor from Vogue had to come forward and address the situation. Many claimed that the shots taken were cruel and unrealistic and that the models were being mistreated in order to promote a new image of beauty. McCann explained that she was very aware of the situation she was in. And that if any shot threatened and promoted an unrealistic and unhealthy image she would not have it. Needless to say, her declarations had different effects: some believed her and were quite content with the answer, while others thought that it was cheap marketing and that models continued to be mistreated. Still, Vogue is a very strong magazine that continues to deliver high quality news to this day. For those of you who have doubts about the subject just think of it this way: let’s say that someone does scam people and they perform unworthy actions. It lasts for a while, but when a magazine manages to withstand the test of time in such a manner, they are clearly doing something right.



Other Super Popular Competitors

Woman-is-using-the-laptopElle and Vogue are not the only two entities on their market. While the struggle between them is a strong one, there are also other competitors who seek to reach the top ranks. You surely heard about these guys as well. Glamour is a woman’s magazine that was founded in 1939. It has become quite popular over the years and it had an audience of over 1 million people in America alone. While it cannot boast with the same coverage as the other two big players on the market have, it is certainly one of the names that stretches across many countries in the world including the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Romania and many, many more. Since we talked about instyle clothing in our precious guide, it would kind of be a mistake not to talk about the magazine, right? What’s it interesting about InStyle is that, although it focuses on the same subjects all the other magazines cover, it somehow manages to keep things interesting and enjoyable. It also covers some unique charitable subjects that not many are aware of. It’s really nice to see that there are magazines who are not only concerned with beauty and health, but they want to reach out to the world and give something in return as well. This is why we have to commend this magazine for its outstanding approach.


Other names that you might be interested in researching are Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, people Stylewatch and Cosmopolitan. Although the competition is fierce between these guys as well, suffice it to say that the battle between the titans at the top is what everyone is looking at. Nonetheless, strong names like Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire are always something you should keep an eye on. These are some of the super brands that have the power to reach the number one position in no time. It’s just that they need to appropriate context to do so. So let’s round everything up and draw the conclusion: it’s unclear which the most popular fashion magazine in history is. There are too many variables, too many little things that we have to think about, too many uncertainties in the end. What we do really know is that it’s either Elle or Vogue. They are both popular, they both have huge coverage and they cover great subjects. Our best advice is to watch them both and if you see any sort of pattern that indicates which is which, do let us know!


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