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November 19, 2022

40 Wonderful Vintage Covers of Marie Claire Magazine From the 1930s and 1940s

Marie Claire is a French international monthly magazine first published in France in 1937, followed by the United Kingdom in 1941. Since then various editions are published in many countries and languages. The feature editions focus on women around the world and global issues. Marie Claire magazine also covers health, beauty, fashion, politics, finance, and career topics.

Founded by Jean Prouvost (who also launched Paris Soir and Paris Match), Marie Claire was born twice, first as a weekly in October 1937, where it saw such immediate success, that police were asked to keep watch over newsstands to keep order. This success was further proved by phenomenal newsstand sales; Marie Claire sold 500,000 copies of the first issue and in 1939 nearly a million copies on the eve of World War II.

Marie Claire was a magazine ahead of its time, offering not only the latest in fashion and beauty but also delivering serious and provocative journalism. It was this contemporary and unique combination that immediately proved so successful. With Marcelle Auclair the original power woman at its head, Marie Claire became the first modern women’s fashion magazine. From the beginning, the goal of Jean Prouvost was to speak to women of all ages and all walks of life; he wanted Marie Claire to be a magazine that spoke to both “la petite Fran├žaise” and “la Duchesse d’Aven.”

Marie Claire was born a second time in October 1954 with the same founder, Jean Prouvost, the same editor, Marcelle Auclair, and the same mission: “to open up the future for women, help them make their own way through changing times. Inform them about subjects that are rocking their world, give them a voice to share the challenges they face and those of the changing society they live in.”

Marie Claire’s originality was also accredited to its high-end production. The magazine was produced on luxury paper, with a fresh, modern and airy layout. The magazine was filled with beautiful illustrations and fashion sketches that balanced luxury and affordable ideas.

When Jean Prouvost left Marie Claire’s helm in 1976, Evelyne Prouvost, one of his granddaughters created Groupe Marie Claire. Evelyne became Chairman of the company, regrouping feminine titles of the Prouvost empire. Evelyne loved magazines, had an insatiable curiosity about culture and was committed to journalistic excellence. She was a giant of the publishing world and a great champion of women. In 1989 Evelyne Prouvost was named “Business Women of the Year,” winning the Veuve Cliquot prize.

Today Marie Claire is present in 29 markets around the world including Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, South Africa, and the Middle East, making Marie Claire one of the most widely recognized women’s fashion media brands in the world.


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