Women's monthly magazines:
Easy Living to Grazia

This page links to profiles of women's monthlies, many of which are known as glossies (or slicks) because of their high production values and upmarket editorial. Some weekly women's magazines - such as Grazia and Riva - are included because of their attempts to establish themselves as weekly glossies. The main index page is here. The titles - past and present - are arranged alphabetically on the following pages:

Main women's monthly index page.


Easy Living July 2005Easy Living - note use of false half-cover to promote colour-coded sections  

Easy Living Back to top

Condé Nast, monthly, March 2005-
First Condé Nast launch since Glamour in 2001 aims to attract women aged 30-50. Given a marketing budget of £15m to set it up against NatMags' Good Housekeeping. The target sales figure was 150,000-200,000; came in with first ABC of 171,038 copies.
Condé Nast profile


Elle December 1990
Elle - ultimately owned by Lagardère Media, the world's top magazine publisher

Elle Top Model women's monthlies
Top Model - an Elle spin-off with Claudia Schiffer on the cover of the first issue
 

Elle Back to top

Hachette Filipacchi UK, monthly, 1985-
Elle in the UK set out to compete with women's magazines from Condé Nast, Vogue and Tatler, and National Magazines' Harpers and Queen. Originally a joint venture between Hachette of France and Rupert Murdoch's magazine division. Then licensed by Hachette to Emap. The French group split away in 2002, taking Elle with it, to form HFUK. Available in A4 and 'handbag' format.

In the early 1990s, there was a series of Elle Top Model specials of 100 pages. The first was about Claudia Schiffer.
HFUK profile


Essentials women's monthlies
Essentials - adopted a cut-down 'convenience' format in 2005. It also adopted the strange habit of cutting the heads off the cover models
 

Essentials Back to top

IPC Media, monthly, 1988-
IPC aimed this monthly magazine at 'women who are at the beginning of grown-up life: the serious relationship, the first house and first child. They are in their late 20s to mid 30s.' It was relaunched in 2005 with a handbag format, but in December 2006 IPC announced it was to aim for an older audience and revert to an A4 format.

Back in 1988, it was part of a response to the arrival of German companies Bauer and G+J in 1987. Essentials was pitted against Bauer's practical women's monthly Prima. (Other IPC launches in 1988 being Marie Claire in partnership with Groupe Marie Claire and Riva). Essentials then launched in France by Groupe Marie as Avantages.
IPC profile


Eve cover
Eve - the BBC was forced to sell the title in 2004 to Haymarket. However, it was on a limb at Haymarket, which has always been a male-dominated company, and it closed in 2008.
 

Eve [closed] Back to top

BBC/Haymarket Publishing, monthly, September 2000 - November 2008
Launched by BBC Magazines against Emap/Hachette's Red and IPC's revived Nova for maturing women who had outgrown Cosmo and Elle. 'The original woman' read the strapline. The sector was described as ‘middle youth’. As a women's monthly magazine, Eve was a slow burner but was increasing sales when the BBC was forced to announce a sale in late 2004 after political pressure on magazines not based on programmes.

Yet Haymarket closed Eve - its only women’s magazine - in 2008, after sales fell 5% year-on-year to 155,076 copies. It was seen as the first glossy victim of the credit squeeze, just five months after a relaunch. However, Haymarket kept on the website spin-off evecars.com, launched in 2005 with What Car? (Haymarket tried a similar idea in 1999 with Your Car, which was run by What Car? and Gruner + Jahr’s Prima.) Haymarket also used the brand on events, such as Eve Educates and the 2006 Eve Style Show, alongside Clotheshow Live.
Haymarket profile


Everywoman woman's monthly
Everywoman - this May 1940 issue featured a 'Budget for the wartime bride' - costing £23 18 1/2d for the wedding dress and honeymoon outfits, right down to the undies (of course, you made your own from patterns).
 

Everywoman [closed] Back to top

Odhams Press, monthly, 1934-1967
The title was originally Everywoman's but this was shortened to Everywoman in 1940. The title became Every Woman and Woman’s Fair in the 1950s after it absorbed that magazine. In the mid-1960s, it also took over Modern Woman before being swallowed itself by Woman at Home. Everywoman was a monthly bestseller for Odhams over many years, estimated at 100,000 in the late 1930s and reaching about 300,000 in the late 1950s (historical sales table).

A border around the main image of the 1940 issue shown here listed the coverage: fashion, fiction; knitting; embroidery; homemaking; beauty; and cookery. At that time, the editorial offices were in Martlett House, Martlett Court, Covent Garden, close to the Odhams HQ in Long Acre. The magazine was printed by Odhams, at St Albans Road, Watford. A service for readers was the Advertisers Service Bureau at 57 Long Acre, which provided details of advertisers and samples.

Odhams became part of IPC in 1963


Family Circle November 1966
Family Circle - in 1966, this women's monthly was only sold in supermarkets
 

Family Circle Back to top

IPC Media, monthly, 1964 -
For more than 20 years, Family Circle and Living were solely sold in supermarkets. Their owner, International Thomson Publishing (ITP), had a monopoly and they were the only consumer magazines the company ran. It did, however, produce book spin-offs, such as Successful Slimming - How to Eat Well and Lose Weight in 1974 and many others since covering cooking, crochet and sewing. The magazines were very profitable, with Family Circle selling more than 580,000 copies by 1984, making it the top seller among women's monthlies. Research by Associated Newspapers found that women who bought make-up were most likely to buy Cosmopolitan or Family Circle. However, two significant threats appeared. First, mainstream publishers started to explore distributing their women's monthly magazines through supermarkets, so ITP held talks with magazine wholesalers about selling its duo in newsagents. Then, in 1986, German publisher Gruner and Jahr launched Prima in the UK. Within a couple of issues, Prima was claiming to have overtaken Family Circle as the UK's best-selling women's monthly. ITP denied the claim, saying its own sales had risen to 585,000, and responded by launching three Family Circle spin-offs. Then, in 1988, IPC Magazines owner Reed paid £28m for the ITP titles.
IPC profile


Flair fashion magazine cover November 1967
Flair
- this issue from November 1967 cost 2/6 for 124 pages. The editor was Emma Powell
 

Flair [closed] Back to top

George Newnes, Tower House, Southampton St, London WC2. 1960?-1972?
Large format (320mm x 240mm), perfect-bound fashion monthly. Was published as Elegance in New Zealand and Australia. Newnes became part of IPC in 1968. One of its fashion editors was Jean Rook, who later became known as 'First Lady of Fleet Street' and 'First Bitch of Fleet Street' on the Daily Express. She claimed to be the highest-paid woman in newspapers and was the inspiration for Private Eye's Glenda Slagg.

George Newnes became part of IPC in 1963


Frank first issue cover
Frank - from its first issue, above, Wagadon's women's monthly set out to be different
Frank magazine cover
 

Frank [closed] Back to top

Wagadon, monthly, October 1997-1999
Editor Tina Gaudoin tried to launch a more intelligent title for the women's monthlies sector, but the result was seen as too edgy. An A4 sample was distributed just before the launch with the Observer. Frank's closure and the failure of music/film monthly Deluxe (May 1988 launch) was to drain Face and Arena publisher Wagadon. The company sold out to Emap in early 2000.
Wagadon profile


Glamour first issue cover 2001 Kate WinsletGlamour - with English actress Kate Winslet on the cover for the launch issue

Glamour cover
A later, more aggressive look for Glamour

 

Glamour Back to top

Condé Nast, monthly, April 2001-
Sector-leading glossy that overtook Cosmopolitan within a year of launch. Editor was Jo Elvin (who launched B). Sales rose continually until the first half of 2005. In 2010 they were 526,216 a month.

Glamour started a trend for handbag-sized A5 women’s magazines. Founded in US in 1937, where it is Condé Nast's biggest selling women's monthly (A4 size) with 2.2m circulation. Glamour's 'handbag' size has been credited to the Italian edition launched in 1994. However, such a size had been popular in Britain until theh 1970s, for both men's and women's monthlies.
Condé Nast profile


Good Housekeeping November 2005 Nigella Lawson
Good Housekeeping - Nigella Lawson on the November 2005 cover
 

Good Housekeeping (UK) Top

The National Magazine Company, London. Monthly, March 1922-
Good Housekeeping aims to attract older women (the typical reader is 51), trading on trust and its expertise. Editorial strategy is to give readers direct access to the 'best of everything' with information and advice on food, home and family, fashion, relationships, health and beauty. Good Housekeeping drew on its heritage to see off the threat from Easy Living’s arrival in 2005 with a relaunch under editor-in-chief Lindsay Nicholson that saw it beat Cosmopolitan for the number-two sales spot. Good Housekeeping was first published in 1885 in the US and bought by NatMags parent Hearst in 1911.
National Magazines profile


Good Taste magazine front cover 1948
Good Taste - front cover from the October 1948 issue with 'special autumn dress features'
 

Good Taste (closed) Back to top

Weldon's/Amalgamated, London. Monthly, ?1938-1953?
Pocket format women's magazine with fiction (3 short stories by Nora Burke, Poppy Richard and Madge Harte), fashion and beauty, home and general articles on cinema, books and readers' opinions and problems. Good Taste was one of the most popular women's monthlies in the early 1950s, selling about 100,000 copies each issue.

The copy shown here (October 1948) ran to 96 pages (including cover) and cost 9d. The contents were on page 17. One of the leading features was about the ballet film The Red Shoes. It was saddle-stitched with the same paper used for the cover as inside. The cover was colour only on the outside and there were 11 pages inside featuring colour or spot colour (used for ads and editorial).

The issue was printed by Sun Printers (London & Watford) and came out on the 30th of each month.

Amalgamated had its head office at Fleetway House, London EC4, but the magazine's advertising and editorial base was at 30-32 Southampton St, WC2.

Amalgamated was renamed Fleetway in 1959 when it was taken over by Mirror Group, which in turn became part of IPC in 1963


Good Life first issue cover October 1977
Good Life - practical cover with contents for the first issue of this 1977 Woman's Weekly spin-off
 

Good Life (closed) Back to top

IPC magazines, London. monthly, October 1977-?
Editor Mary Dilnot chose a pocket format (6.75x 8.5in; 176 x 216 mm) for this spin-off from Women's Weekly. It cost 20p for 100 pages.

Articles included: Come Behind The Scenes: Upstairs At The White House; Fabulous Cloaks Pattern Offer; Calorie Cooking (4-page pull-out); Loose Cover Making; Deborah Kerr star profile; Perfect Patchwork; serial ('Visitors to the spa' by Evelyn Charles); fiction ('A Taste of Sherbert' by Lesley Wilson); as well as the regulars such as a horoscope, letters, etc.

Unusually for a women's magazine, Good Life also carried an advertisers' index.
IPC profile


Grazia cover
Grazia - marketed as 'Britain's first weekly glossy'
 

Grazia Back to top

Emap/Bauer, weekly, February 2005-
Title aims to become the weekly Vogue and is built on an Italian formula. Posted a first sales figure of 155,157 copies, beating its target of 150,000 copies. In the first half of 2010, sales were 228,770 a week.

Marketed as 'Britain's first weekly glossy'. Focus is on fashion, though led by celebrity covers (Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman for the first three issues). A massive £16m launch budget saw 650,000 taster copies being given away in shops a week before the actual launch. Editor Fiona McIntosh recruited a heavyweight team that included no less than five former editors of women's magazines. Approach had been tried by Carlton's Riva in 1988.

Publisher Emap was taken over by Bauer in 2008.