On November 21st, 1945, the Russian-born, Paris-raised Hélène Lazareff launched a modern women’s magazine that would become a staple in every woman’s home in France, and later, around the world. Inspired by her time spent in New York during World War II working as a journalist for major media titles, Lazareff began to develop her own concept for a women’s magazine whose key editorial approach was to provide women with exclusive and unparalleled access to fashion and beauty, while maintaining a closeness to its readers. The cornerstone of the magazine was its underlying tone of “Irony in seriousness, and seriousness in frivolty.”
With the column “ELLE asks you to speak”, women’s interests and convictions were taken into account for the first time. Lazareff declared that “fashion must take to the streets”, and so it did through the fashion-forward features that she ran in the magazine. Her position was strong : she wanted only the best for her readers, held them in esteem, and felt they deserved to finally be regarded as strong and independent women. She also considered women to be actors in society’s evolution, motivating them to invest themselves in key issues, gain their financial independence and position themselves as equal to men.
Hence, ELLE was to be a magazine of bias and convictions. She was a visionary, an intuitive and wildly dynamic woman who ran her magazine with an iron hand in a velvet glove. She surrounded herself with the best editors who were not afraid to express themselves on controversial issues such as sex, contraception and abortion. In 1970, Lazareff launched a literature prize awarded exclusively by ELLE readers. She left the magazine in 1972, and the original version is still present, having been shaped into a structured and intuitive pagination in adapting to today’s readers.
The internationalization of ELLE began in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1985 and presently counts 43 editions around the world, with more to come. Lazareff’s unique visions were transformed into a concept so strong and relevant to women that it has become a global brand.
A team fully dedicated to the international development and management of the brand through four key areas : editorial & publishing, syndication, international co-productions, supervision of publishing licences.
The international advertising sales house for Lagardère Active, the media branch of the Lagardère Group, covering Press, Internet, TV, Radio, Mobile and Tablet applications across more than 40 countries.
The dedicated division of the Lagardère Active group, running the Brand Licensing business worldwide, handling the strategy and management of Lagardère Active licensing programs and products derived from our magazines as well as our specific spin-off brands.
Creator of multimedia content, Lagardere Active is a major French player in the media industry with premium brands such as ELLE, Paris Match, Europe 1, Gulli and Doctissimo and leading positions in the businesses it operates, including magazine publishing, audio-visual (radio, TV and TV production), digital (pure player sites, mobile applications and tablet applications) and advertising : 39 press titles in France and 85 abroad, 21 radio stations, 12 TV channels, 25 websites, 19 production houses, and a unique and powerful advertising sales brokerage.
Lagardère Active is one of Lagardère SCA’s four corporate branches, together with Lagardère Publishing (books), Lagardère Services (press distribution and services) and Lagardère Unlimited (marketing and management of sports broadcast rights, talent representation for athletes and artists).
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