Originally published in 1945, in Paris, ELLE is a first-class fashion magazine that was created right after the Second World War. Its founder, Helene Lazareff, having experienced wartime exile in the United States as women's fashion editor in New York Times and Harper's Bazaar aspired to create a feminine magazine that would advise women about the latest trends in fashion, health, beauty and relationships thus helping them leading a brand new, after-war, life.
Being the first weekly fashion magazine focusing on the classy styles and hot trends of the American lifestyle, ELLE achieved instant success by relying on American models, whose bodies were untouched by wartime suffering. Although it originally targeted mature, sophisticated women, soon it attracted a younger audience between fifteen and twenty portraying hot personalities and lifestyles and gaining an international finesse.
Since then, ELLE has come a long way. Managing to become a credible fashion magazine is an intricate and frightening task, especially when Vogue is one of the main competitors with its well-established reputation. However, ELLE has become a magazine with its own personality and confidence, able to influence fashion trends in a well rounded manner.
At first glance, ELLE may look like any other fashion magazine particularly because it features a lot of advertising, but also interviews with superstars and up-coming stars. However, ELLE's audience is smart and savvy and has the experience to read behind the lines and not blindly follow the trends. Women absorb ELLE's latest fashion concepts and adapt them to their budget. While Vogue addresses the high-class end of fashion, ELLE adapts sexy, spirited styles and trends to everyday life being aware of their target group and attributing value not only to beauty and style, but also to culture.
ELLE features a unique culture by speeding up to stylish fashion, but also by featuring guides to the latest movies, plays, music and museum exhibits. Book reviews and travel information are also included in the editorial as well as insightful articles about politicians, actors and other hot shot personalities. Bottom line is, for any interest, ELLE delivers, without fail.
On the other hand, despite its intellectual and informative character, ELLE is full of "chic" fashion advertising and definitely one of the most expensive magazines of the world. Although editorials and articles on celebrities are insightful and interesting, still ELLE needs to be more striking and less expensive.
Personally, I would recommend ELLE to any classy, sophisticated female between twenty and forty because it is a well rounded magazine. Over the years it has managed to strengthen its character and to create a status quo around its editorial focusing on runway trends, profiling up-coming designers and interviewing hot-shot fashion models. ELLE's strength lies in the fact it is able to do all this and still maintain a personal feel.