From Cleo To Dolly: Final Covers Of Iconic Aussie Mags We Lost In The Past Decade
Technology exploded this decade, but what about all the wonderful things left behind in the rubble?
Picture this. It's January 2010. Owl City's 'Fireflies' is blasting on the radio. You're walking past a two-for-one singlets rack at Supre on your way to pick up the latest issue of 'Dolly'. Leighton Meester's on the cover. Life's good.
Little do you know that you're about to witness the seismic collapse of one of history's most dominant media industries -- magazines.
The last decade marked the end of an era for hundreds of popular magazine titles. Australia wide, publishers were closing their doors to make way for changing audience appetites and rapidly developing technology.
Many of our country's most iconic magazines were caught in the crossfire.
Speaking to 10 daily, Lisa Wilkinson fondly recalled the heyday of the magazine industry: “It broke my heart when 'Dolly' and 'Cleo' closed because they formed such a significant part of my early career. And, like so many Australian women, I too grew up on them."
These magazines were our first real understanding of the sisterhood. At their best, they taught us to be OUR best.
'The Sunday Project' host knew the magazine world intimately well. At 21 she was appointed editor at 'Dolly', and at 25 she became editor at 'Cleo'. The closure of these mags, among many others, still weighs heavily on the heart of the celebrated Australian journalist.
"They were a safe harbour for teen angst, encouraged us to independent but also nurtured our broken hearts, helped us find our best selves, taught us to love, enjoy and take charge of our lives and bodies, and ultimately simply made us feel part of a huge nationwide club, that every month with every new issue, we got to rejoin," Wilkinson said.
As we wrap up this decade and take another step towards the future, let's first bid a fond farewell to all the iconic mags we've left behind:
Dolly Magazine (1970 - 2016)
'Dolly' was the bible for Aussie teens. For almost 50 years, young women would pour over the pages in search of advice on everything from changing beauty trends to their changing bodies.
The 'Dolly Doctor' sealed section served as a landmark push towards better educating young women about their health and well-being.
The demise of 'Dolly' was credited to the publisher's inability to keep up with technology. Teenagers are famously early adopters, and a monthly mag sadly didn't satiate their needs in the modern world.
Cleo Magazine (1972 - 2016)
The pioneering women's magazine was unlike anything the country had ever seen.
At its inception, 'Cleo' was helmed by Australian media great, Ita Buttrose, who was determined to shakeup the conservative industry and give women what they wanted, before they even knew they wanted it.
44 years on, she described its closure as "like a death in the family". With its sex tips and centrefolds, fashion and flair -- 'Cleo' will be remembered as less a magazine, more a friend.
Model Jesinta Campbell famously recreated the first cover of 'Cleo' as a fond farewell in its last issue.
Cosmopolitan Magazine (1973 - 2018)
'Cosmo' burst onto the scene with a bang. With international backing and publication all around the globe, 'Cosmo' Australia had arrived to give 'Cleo' a run for its mag money.
With Mia Freedman as editor during the turn of the century, the glossy championed a 'body positivity' policy -- a notion that is becoming increasingly prevalent across the media as the years progress.
'Cosmo' held on until late 2018. At the time of it's closure, there were of course many conversations regarding a mag's ability to keep up with tech.
Interestingly, it's closure also sparked feminist discourse, with many commentators noting that the desire to 'have it all' simply no longer cut the mustard with the modern, politically charged woman.
Shop Til You Drop (2003 - 2017)
Quarterly fashion magazine 'Shop' offered readers a seasonal snapshot at the latest and greatest fashion trends from Australia and the world.
The mag was closed in 2017 due to the popularity of online shopping and fast fashion. The publishers found that consumer trends travelled faster than any print mag could keep up with.
Madison Magazine (2005 - 2013)
'Madison' was one of the first glossies to feel the wrath of the last decade. The fashion-focused lifestyle magazine brought celebrity and glamour into the lounge rooms of the everyday Australian woman.
The closure of the fashion mag was largely linked to the difficult economic climate. Out of the ashes of 'Madison' and fellow Bauer title 'Grazia' quickly rose 'Elle' Magazine, still in circulation today.
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