Cosmopolitan Aims Skyward


Cosmopolitan covers
Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

Hearst hallmark Cosmopolitan has weathered a stormy publishing climate to become the biggest provider of beauty content in the world, said the senior vice president, publishing director and chief revenue officer of The Cosmopolitan Group, Donna Kalajian Lagani.

And the uniquely global brand, which touts 64 editions published in 35 languages and is distributed in 100 countries worldwide, is furthering its multi-cultural push.

Last year, the brand unveiled Cosmopolitan for Latinas, which is edited by and targets English-speaking Hispanic women, featuring coverage that is “curated for her body type, skin tone and fragrance-wearing proclivities,” Kalajian Lagani said.

“The Cosmopolitan brand indexes extremely high with Latinas,” she continued of the title, which published twice last year and is slated for four issues in 2013. “So we developed the book for a reader who speaks Spanish at home but maybe likes to consume content in English.”

Coles’ Clout

Cosmopolitan girls
Donna Kalajian Lagani and Nicole Mills.

Beyond its first-ever culturally-specific creation, Cosmopolitan also experienced an editorial evolution—or rather, explosion, as Kalajian Lagani likens it—following the recruitment of Joanna Coles as editor in chief last September.

“Joanna has brought a new dynamism and sophistication—with her own idiosyncratic twist—to the magazine, and has also significantly increased beauty and fashion pages,” Kalajian Lagani noted. She added that Coles is “particularly interested in getting behind beauty stories into R&D, and how products are made.”

Of its beauty angle, associate publisher Nicole Mills explained, “our mission statement, ‘Fun, Fearless, Female’ really informs everything that we do. Our beauty content encourages readers to try new things, express themselves and be noticed. Additionally, we provide answers to questions they may be uncomfortable asking, and we do it in a relaxed, relatable and entertaining voice.”

Coles also embodies the DNA of the brand’s founder, Helen Gurley Brown, Kalajian Lagani said, who was a beacon of female empowerment. In this vein, the April issue will feature a 40-page career advice section from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Additionally, Coles maintains a high social profile: her upcoming stint on the CBS series The Job was featured on a Super Bowl commercial, and Cosmopolitan hosted a cocktail party during Fashion Week alongside March cover girl Miley Cyrus.

Online’s Additive Value

Cosmopolitan spread
An excerpted Cosmopolitan beauty feature.

Digitally, the magazine’s presence continues to thrive, Mills said, explaining that she sees its website, tablet and mobile editions as additive to the brand’s total reach rather than cannibalizing of its print offer.

Cosmopolitan’s website receives nine million unique visitors monthly, and it is also the biggest brand on tablets, Mills said, with 228,000 digital copies downloaded monthly.

“We’ve gone from forty pieces of unique content online each week to one hundred,” Kalajian Lagani said, “and it is our hope this year to triple that”—including videos starring the magazine’s beauty director, Leah Wyar. Cosmopolitan’s tablet edition has also been enhanced via purchase links, video activation and other interactive features, she added.

In a period of publishing drought, Cosmopolitan’s cup seems not only to be half full, but overflowing, the ladies concurred. “We look at all of the evolutions in the industry as new points of entry, like a buffet,” Kalajian Lagani said. And to its loyal audience of 100 million across the globe, she makes this fearless vow: “Hold onto your high heels—with Joanna Coles on board, Cosmopolitan is shooting for the stars this year, and it’s going to be a great ride.”


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