The British edition was the first international version of a US title that had been around since 1886 but was reformulated by Helen Gurley Brown (author of Sex and the Single Girl) to great success in 1965 for the new, 'liberated' woman. The 1972 launch editor in UK was Joyce Hopkirk, former woman's editor at the Sun (Deirdre McSharry who took over as editor later in the year also came from the paper). Saatchi & Saatchi did a TV commercial and the first print run of 350,000 sold out. The second issue featured a male nude (Paul de Feu, Germaine Greer's husband).

Cosmo's arrival led to the closure of NatMags' Vanity Fair and killed off Nova. Cosmopolitan became the world's best-selling woman's monthly - and best seller in the UK until the arrival of Glamour in 2002. Spin-off titles include Cosmopolitan Man (just one issue) in April 1978; Zest in 1994; Cosmo Hair, Cosmo Girl! and Cosmopolitan Real Life Stories in 1999. The name has been licensed for wide variety of goods, including exhibitions, cafes, cars and yoghurt.

In 1989, Hearst Magazines International was founded by US parent to exploit brands such as Cosmopolitan. In 2004, Hearst launched 50th international edition of Cosmo - in Bulgaria. In Indonesia, the title became Kosmopolitan, because the Indonesians pronounce 'c' as 'ch'.


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