Elle is a worldwide lifestyle magazine of French origin that focuses on fashion, beauty, health, and entertainment. Elle is also the world's best-selling fashion magazine. It was founded by Pierre Lazareff and his wife Hélène Gordon in 1945. The title, in French, means "she" or "her".
Elle was founded in France in 1945. In the 1960s, it was considered to "not so much reflect fashion as decree it", with 800,000 loyal readers and a then famous slogan: "Si elle lit, elle lit Elle (If she reads, she reads Elle)". In 1981, Daniel Filipacchi and Jean-Luc Lagardère purchased Hachette magazines, which included the then-struggling Elle. Elle was then launched in the U.S. (News Corporation owned a stake in the US edition until 1988, followed by 25 other foreign editions). The Chinese version of the magazine was published in 1988, and is the only edition which is published twice monthly.
In 2007 the website of Elle was launched.
Among its past editors is Jean-Dominique Bauby, who became known for writing a book after suffering almost total paralysis.
Elle printed special collectors’ covers for their September 2016 issue, and one of them featured Hari Nef, which was the first time an openly transgender woman had been on the cover of a major commercial British magazine.
Elle is the world's largest fashion magazine, with 43 international editions in over 60 countries. Technologically speaking, the Elle brand is a global network encompassing over 33 websites. Subscriptions account for 73 percent of readers. There are 33 Elle websites globally, which collectively attract over 25 million unique visitors and 370 million page views per month. The magazine reaches over 69 million readers. The vast majority (82 percent) of Elle's audience are women between the ages of 18 and 49. Its readers have a median age of 34.7 years. Forty percent of the readers are single, and the median household income is $69,973. "Our readers are young enough to think about life as an adventure and old enough to have the means to live it", said Roberta Myers, editor in chief.
The first international edition of Elle was launched in Japan in 1969. Then, its U.S. and UK editions were launched in 1985. Next year, the magazine was first published in Spain. In 1987, Elle began to be published in Hong Kong and Italy. In 1988, the magazine was launched in six countries, namely Germany, Brazil, China, Sweden, Greece and Portugal. Next year it was first published in the Netherlands and Quebec. In 1990, the magazine was started in Australia and Taiwan. Its Russian edition, published monthly, was launched in 1996.
Elle is owned by the Lagardère Group of France. It is published in the U.S. and the UK by Hearst Magazines, in Canada by Transcontinental Media, in Brazil by Grupo Editora Abril, in Mexico by Grupo Expansión, in Argentina by Grupo Clarín, in Singapore by Mediacorp, in Serbia/Croatia by Adria Media, in Turkey by Doğan Burda Magazine, in Germany by Hubert Burda Media, and in Romania by Ringier. In China, the publisher is Shanghai Translation Publishing House. and in India its owned and published by Ogaan Publications Pvt. Ltd As an international magazine, Elle has its headquarters in Paris as well as licensed publishers in New York City, London, Toronto, Mexico City, South Africa, Istanbul, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Tokyo, Warsaw, Belgrade, Oslo, Helsinki, Bucharest, Athens, Delhi, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Jakarta, Kiev, Kuala Lumpur, and other cities.
In December 2013, Elle hired Randy Minor as design director.