The other day British Vogue reminded me of a very special cover of German Cosmopolitan - way back when I was the editor from 1995 to 1998. My challenge then was to anticipate the formular of "Cleavage Covers" into a new aera - famous Helen Gurley Brown herself told me about the eternal "Cosmo-Rules", that made Cosmopolitan the most exciting - and by far the most successful!! - women magazine of its time, from the 1960s way up until into the late 1980s.
Swiss publisher Juerg Marquard had added to Cosmopolitan´s success, producing a German version of that certain vision Helen Gurley Brown had made popular by writing a book about "Sex And The Single Girl".
It turned out that talking to young women who did not want to marry the first guy they had sex with was quite reasonable. Thanks to the invention of birth control pills women were finally able to control the risk of having a baby. They would eventually start to enjoy their lives in the city - having jobs, starting a career, buying stuff without having to ask anybody.
And still: Longing to find THE ONE.
There is an illuminating piece by Nora Ephron about Helen Gurley Brown that says it all; the brilliant writer (like so many others) worked for Cosmopolitan quite some time.
Cosmo, this explosive mix of sex and personal success started to fail on a new generation when the Nineties started. Those girls did not want to use that much Make-up anymore, the shied away from talking about sex so bluntly, their fashion had to be pure, their favorite models looked all of a sudden very young and rather androgyne, the former rather sexy, mature exposure became a No Go.
For my early covers I managed to find pictures by scanning the International magazines I thought were already talking to that new audience, like the cool newly relaunched Harper´s Bazaar of Liz Tilberis and Fabien Baron, published by Hearst, the company that also published Cosmopolitan in the United States..
I started to buy single photos, like the one of Kate Moss I found in British Vogue, shot by then up and coming photographer Juergen Teller.
This very portrait of her, all bursting with fun and energy, made her my personal poster girl of a brand new era. And like the photographer the model became my all time favorite. An eternal love affair
( ...if you have a closer look you might find the handwriting of my late mother who kept this very issue forever because I used a photograph of her inside).