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Farewell Cleo: Aussie ‘it girls’ who once graced the cover

Cleo magazine recreates first ever cover with Jesinta Campbell as the magazine comes to a close.

Cleo magazine recreates first ever cover with Jescinta Campbell as the magazine comes to a close.
After 44 years in print Campbell – who donned a long white dress to resemble that worn by model Louise Francett from the first ever edition in 1972 – will be the last Cleo covergirl marking the end of an era.
“I actually had tears in my eyes,” Campbell told Today Show host and former Cleo editor Lisa Wilkinson of being given the honour, “because it was the very first fashion magazine that I got to be on the cover of.
“I remember reading articles and feeling empowered myself, so I can’t imagine what those articles did for women 44 years ago, so Cleo is one of the reasons both of us are here today as strong women on television, talking, doing our thing and being independent and kicking goals.”
Natalie Babic, a journalist who got her start in media at Cleo and now works for The Weekly and says Cleo’s final cover is everything she hoped it would be.
“It brings up such great memories looking at this final issue,” Nat tells the Weekly. “Cleo really was at the front of empowering and educating women in Australia for decades. At the time it came about in the 70s it was a truly revolutionary idea to have a mass publication that had women at the helm inspiring ideas about feminism and equal pay and other issues relating to women’s rights. It’s sad to see it go but we do need to remember how great it was for many years while it existed.”
Cleo’s final editor Lucy Cousins said of the final cover: “It’s an ode to the 44 years. We didn’t want to go out with a cover that didn’t really say anything, we wanted to pay tribute to that first one.”

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