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11 Most Popular Fashion Magazines in the World

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At first glance, the 11 most popular fashion magazines in the world may seem like a trivial topic, but let’s not forget the fashion industry dictates a large portion of the behavioral norms we abide by. Fashion magazines have a monumental influence on our daily lives, whether we like it or not, and even though it’s just easier to label fashion as “stupid” and move on to the next thing on the agenda, we need to gain awareness of the fact that it controls us.

Fashion is what Foucault would call an (outdated) disciplinary institution, as are school, prison, barracks, the hospital, and in some sad cases even marriage; it both disciplines and punishes. Every institution has a rulebook, and in this case it’s fashion magazines and a very large portion of the world follows those laws. Of course, this is true for all kinds of magazines, so take a look at our 11 Best Selling Magazines in the United States to get a broader view. Mags tell people how to act, what to wear, what their bodies should look like, how their relationships should be, what they should eat, how to raise their children, how much money they should make, and most of all: what they should buy with it. If these rules are not followed, social punishment will befall.

11 Most Popular Fashion Magazines in the World


There is no denying that times are changing, and although the fashion industry is currently on its way to reaching a pivotal shift against patriarchal values, the road ahead is long. Still, not all fashion magazines are offensive to the reader’s intelligence, some actually provide really great material to reflect on, and I reckon that if women are someday to obtain the respect that they are fighting for, magazines will play a key role. It’s not only about male respect, but also about mutual respect between us girls, because, as Mean Girls’ Ms. Norbury explains in her “girl on girl crime” speech: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores! It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.” I think that’s some of the best feminist advice I’ve ever gotten. Thank you, Tina Fey.

But WAIT! Enjoying fashion magazines does not make you an idiot at all. Having explained why fashion magazines are evil and such, I will now say that I LOVE flicking through them. I mean, I really enjoy gulping down the crap they are feeding me, even if I’m aware of what’s going on. I have accepted myself as a pseudo-intellectual with a weakness for ankle-straps, and that’s fine. You don’t need to be dumb to go doe-eyed while looking at an oh-so-gorgeous (and oh-so-unaffordable) pair of Yves Saint Laurent boots, or sob to a sad story in which someone sad had something very sad happen to them. It is fine to read fashion magazines, as long as you can maintain a relatively critical point of view.

As far as popularity goes, out of all the variables considered, you just need to grasp these three concepts:

– Circulation: number of copies sold every month.

– Readership/Total Audience: total number of readers every month
– Readers per Copy (RpC): relationship between the former

Of course, since it is popularity that we are attempting to measure, items will be rated by readership. Not all three figures were included in the information I could compile on each of the publications featured on our list, but at least two of them were every time, so the few missing values were estimated by using basic elementary school math. For instance: If circulation = 1.000, and RpC=5, then readership=50.000, because 5*1.000=5.000. Just as well, 5.000/1.000=5, and 5.000/5= 1.000. See? Simple! But, first in order to know which are the fashion magazines we should be checking for these parameters, we took the most recommended ones from various sources like AllYouCanRead, Textile Merchandising to name a few, discussing the same topic, and then for each magazine we looked for these parameters separately. On some of the sites the info can be gathered only if you are registered user, so for those, I didn’t provide the links, but for all other that can be linked, sources are there.

That’s all you need to know, so if you’re interested in knowing by-the-numbers who’s dictating your life (which is NOT a minor issue) click “next” and find out!

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