By  on February 25, 2011

Allure magazine made its debut in March 1991. That was the same month the Lancaster Group AG (later named Coty Inc.) landed in New York from Wiesbaden, Germany; Omar Sharif launched his women’s fragrance to a packed crowd at Bloomingdale’s, and Henri Bendel unveiled its new, expanded beauty floor with an eye-popping birdcage centerpiece.

Linda Wells has been the title’s only editor in chief since it was launched. In that span, the publication has claimed a number of firsts among magazines: warning of health risks linked to silicone breast implants; reporting drug use among fashion models; sounding an alarm about the levels of formaldehyde in some hair-straightening products, and advising women that fat-melting treatments hadn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Circulation has grown from 250,000 to 1,093,613, and as the magazine approaches its 20th anniversary next month, Wells has had a chance to reflect on how the industry has changed during her time at the helm.


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