This page gives profiles of women's monthlies, many of which are known as glossies or slicks because of their high production values and upmarket editorial. Some weeklies - 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:
- 19 to Cosmopolitan
- Easy Living to Grazia
- Happy to More! [this page]
- New Woman to Over 21
- Queen to Riva
- Scene to Zest
- Table of top 5 sellers
- Key facts on women's monthlies
Main women's monthly index page.
Women's magazine sales (1938-59).
Happy [closed] Top
Northern & Shell, monthly, May 2005 - March 2007
Harper’s Bazaar (UK) Back to top
National Magazines/Hearst UK, monthly, 1929-1970; 2006-
According to the NatMags website, the company 'took over Queen for free, in return for a commitment to give the printing contract for the newly merged title to owner Michael Lewis ... Circulation was boosted, and advertising soared. It has been generally judged to be the only truly successful "marriage" of two titles in the women's market.'
US editor-in-chief has been Glenda Bailey since May 2001. Before that, she edited the US edition of Marie Claire (since 1996). Bailey made her name launching the UK edition of Marie Claire in 1988. Her first editorship was Honey in 1986.Hearst UK profile
Harper's & Queen from April 1971. Photograph by Helmut Newton of an uncredited model wearing Biba make-up
Harpers & Queen Top
National Magazines, monthly, 1970 - 2006
Home Chat from 24 March 1945. This issue commemorates the magazine's 50th anniversary with a cover illustration comparing women's style of dress between 1895 and 1945
Home Chat [closed] Top
Answers Publications / Amalgamated. March 1895- 1960?
According to a book published by the company, Home Chat took 'the country by storm'. 'Insistent, clamorous crowds beseiged the publishing offices, every individual anxious to make certain of supplies. The usual publishing staff, unable to deal with the crush, enlisted the services of their colleagues on the business and editorial sides. Shirt-sleeved men, perspiring but never pausing, flung the papers to the waiting crowds, which never seemed to lessen. From morning to night the work continued, and ever the paper was selling, selling, selling, and the great machines roaring as they flung out their streams of copies.'
The magazine claimed that the 200,000 print run had to be topped up by 35,000 copies. Its used a smaller page size (6.5 by 9.25 inches) than the 6d titles, but was just as thick. Many magazines still assumed the reader had servants, but Home Chat carried a recipe column that assumed the reader was doing the cooking.
Writers included Cutliffe Hyne, Mrs M. Beeton, Lady Greville and Lady Constance Howard. Among the illustrators were Claude Shepperson, F. Pegram, W. Dewar, Hal Hurst, Warwick Goble and Louis Wain.
It claims to have been the first paper to give away free dress-making patterns.
In 1938, the sales figure for Home Chat was 127,000 copies. Sales seem to have peaked at 283,000 in 1952.
Honey from 1964. The main cover line read: 'A girl's best accessory is a man'
Honey final issue, September 1986 under editor Glenda Bailey: note the large 'collectors item' cover line
Honey [closed] Back to top
Fleetway/IPC, monthly, Apr 1960 - September 1986
Tag line first introduced in Oct 1960: 'For the teens and twenties.' By 1962 this had become: 'Young, gay and get-ahead.'
Honey has been credited with encouraging young journalists, photographers and designers. The first issue ran photographs by George Koenig, Terence Donovan, Desmond Russell, Nigel Redhead, Julie Hamilton, Michael Ward, Basil Davis and Michael Williams. Cover credits were only given from issue 3, but Redhead, Jean Chevalier, Leo Aarons, David Bailey and Shiavone and acknowledged in the first year.
The November issue (8) has a double-page spread enittled 'We'd like you to meet a few of the talented people who helped us with this issue.' These included: photographers Don McCullin, Euan Duff, Victor Singh, David Bailey, Nigel Redhead and Eric Wilkins; illustrators Sirriol Clarry, Bill Banks and Michael Heath; and writer Barbara Gaskell.
The magazine took over Woman & Beauty in 1964 and at its height sold about 250,000 copies a month. Sales slid in the 1980s with the Jan-Jun 1980 figure of 214,349 falling to 158,438 for the same period in 1982, a drop of a quarter.
In May 1986, IPC announced its closure and
it was merged into 19. September was the cover date
on the last issue, which featured an article on the best of Honey and
promoted it as a 'collectors item'. The Times quoted
publisher Heather Love as saying that the main reason for the
closure was the lack of co-operation from the staff with new
editor, Glenda Bailey. She had been appointed in January to
give the magazine a new direction. Bailey later went on to
Cate Blanchett on the cover of InStyle (April 2007)
In Style (UK) Top
IPC Media, monthly, March 2001-
London Life - first issue under editor Mark Boxer
Ian Dury drew this London Life cover image of Tony Bennett for a profile by Benny Green. The words picked out in stripes against a flowery wallpaper background read: Tony Bennett / Royal / Variety / Mon 8 Nov / Palladium / 8 PM
London Life with the cover line '1966 was a very good year' - but possibly not for the magazine with a change of editor
London Life [closed] Top
9 October 1965-1967. Illustrated Newspapers. Weekly entertainment guide
London Life aimed to banish the crusty old society world of Tatler and herald the new Swinging London. It typically ran to 56 or 60 pages for 2/6, with heavier coated pages used for the feature articles in a central section. It was published every Thursday (covering the Sat-Fri dates on the cover) from Elm House, 10-16 Elm St, London WC1. Its stated aim was as a 'comprehensive guide to the entertainment scene: films, theatre, retsurants, night life, music, sport'
The magazine was initially printed by Sun Printers in Watford, and East Midland Litho, Peterborough and bound by Sun Printers, Watford and London. By June 1966, the printing had moved into central London - to Gale & Polden, 28 Craven St, WC2.
In that year, Boxer left. The 10 September issue has a list of credits: Ian Howard was editor; picture executive was Jeremy Banks; the art editor was Tony Page; Patrick Brangwyn was production editor.
For the 6-12 Nov (1965) London Life on the left, Ian Dury drew a cover image of Tony Bennett for a profile by Benny Green. Words in the background are picked out in stripes against a wallpaper background. The concept was carried through to a double-page spread showing the performers at the Royal Variety Performance that year. The colour centre spread was devoted to the 'London Life pin-up': in this case, 'Barbara Windsor, in a dress of Plantagenet splendour, designed by Oliver Messel, for Lionel Bart's Twang!! The musical is based, freely and with baroque improvisations, on the Robin Hood legend.' The photograph was by Terence Donovan.
Looks at the peak of its sales in December 1992
Looks with Madonna on the cover for its January 2000 issue
Looks / Celebrity Looks [closed] Top
Emap/Emap Elan, September 1985- February 2002
It was an immediate success with a first ABC figure of 137,017.
Burns left in July 1988 and took up a launch editor post at contract publisher Redwood on BBC Holidays 89. Morag Prunty took over the editor's chair.
The main teen magazines in 1988 are given in Table 1.
In 1989, Mandi Norwood was appointed editor of Looks. (However, by January 1991 she was in the editor's chair at Company, taking over from Gill Hudson.)
By 1992, Looks was selling 231,083 but this was the peak of its sales. In December 1997, Emap Elan repositioned the title in an attempt to boost sales, which had fallen to 151,000. Eleni Kyriacou became editor. The magazine was redesigned with more emphasis on celebrities and reader make-overs. Publishing director Delyth Smith said the approach was driven by changes in the teenage magazine market, with the success of ‘baby glossies’, such as Emap's own It's Bliss and Futura's Sugar. In December, BBC Magazines announced the closure of its TV spin-off style magazine, Clothes Show. Earlier in the year, Emap had relaunched Just Seventeen as J17, taking it from weekly to monthly.
In May 2001, Looks changed its name to Celebrity Looks, though editor Margi Conklin said the change just reflected what had been the case since 1998. However, in February 2002, Celebrity Looks closed.
Marie Claire (UK) Back to top
IPC Media/Marie Claire Album, monthly, September 1988 -
A measure of social change in Britain was a cross-dressing article in the first issue that focused on the male royals. Just a Paris fashion makeover of the Queen got Nova into hot water in 1968. According to the book Nova 1965-75, 'The pictures were retouched in New York and promptly impounded in Britain on their return. They were finally released only with further retouching to lower the hemline and the sanction of Buckingham Palace.'
Available in cut-down A4 and 'travel-size' (in London commuter area) since September 2004, when it also cut its cover price from £3 to £2.50. Made a big fuss of running Brad Pitt on the cover and before him David Beckham.
Original version founded in France in 1937 by industrialist Jean
Prouvost. One of France's leading up-market women's magazines.
First international edition was Japan in 1982. US edition began
as a bi-monthly in March/April 1995 and went monthly in September
Mirabella - disappointing launch from Murdoch Magazines
Mirabella (UK) [closed] Top
Murdoch Magazines/News International, monthly, September 1990-
News International closed Mirabella
in May 1991. It then sold Murdoch Magazines (Car, Supercar
Classic, New Woman, Sky and TV Guide) to Emap. No
official circulations figure had been recorded, but Mirabella was
reported as not selling well and as a new title requiring investment
would have been difficult to offload at the time when the country
was in recession. The title was originally launched by Murdoch
in the US in 1989. Grace Mirabella, a former editor-in-chief of
US Vogue was
identified as the magazine's namesake and was the title’s
Modern Woman in August 1953 - 'The magazine that keeps you up-to-date'
Modern Woman [closed] Top
George Newnes (later part of IPC), 1925- (1960s?)
Modern Woman was based around fiction, fashion and lifestyle features. Its sales peaked in the mid 1950s at about 230,000 copies.
In 1962, Modern Woman was published on the 5th of each month. In the February issue, all three short stories were bought from the US:
Among the articles was a profile of Nancy Mitford article, discussing her book on etiquette, Noblesse Oblige. It quotes her as saying that the idea for U and non-U came out of a throwaway mention in an article for Encounter (the anti-communist, Anglo-US monthly that later turned out to have been funded by the CIA).
Other features were horoscopes by Leon Petulengro and a list of advertisers. Only 16 of the pages were in colour.
More! - launch issue
More! - 16-page fashion extra with the first issue. Centre spread was a double gatefold
Emap London Lifestyle, fortnightly, 6 April 1988 -