“Cosmopolitan,” a popular international magazine for young women, appears to have become the best-selling glossy publication in Armenia less than seven months after the launch of its Armenian-language edition.
The launch made “Cosmopolitan Armenia” the 63rd international edition of the famous U.S. title published by the Hearst Magazines media company. It is currently printed in 36 languages and distributed in more than 100 countries.
“We are confident that ‘Cosmo’ will do well with Armenian women,” Duncan Edwards, the Hearst Magazines chairman, said ahead of the Armenian edition’s release in February.
“Cosmopolitan Armenia” now claims to print and sell about 5,000 copies per issue, more than any other Armenian magazine. The circulation figure is also higher than the print runs of most of the country’s daily newspapers that mainly cover political and economic developments.
Like its sister publications, the 160-200 page magazine published once a month mainly carries articles on relationships and sex, health, careers, Western and local celebrities, as well as fashion and beauty.
“Sex was a very scary topic for us because starting to speak about it in Armenia as openly as ‘Cosmo’ does elsewhere in the world was not an easy thing,” Hrachuhi Utmazian, the magazine’s young editor-in-chief, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Nevertheless, she said, the magazine has extensively covered what is a sensitive and sometimes taboo subject in the socially conservative country in its six editions published to date.
“Sex is a must-have headline at ‘Cosmopolitan Armenia,’” explained Utmazian. “It must be in the upper left corner of the magazine cover, it is considered the most important headline. The front page must also have a headline on beauty.”
The debut issue of “Cosmopolitan Armenia” published in March featured Armenian-American socialite Kim Kardashian on its cover.
“I would not go as far as to claim that ‘Cosmo’ is changing the whole society,” said Shushan Harutiunian, editor of the magazine’s online version. “But the fact there is some change is obvious, at least among people who have joined our virtual community.”
According to Harutiunian, the magazine’s readers are mostly women aged between 18 and 35.