Jean Prouvost created the first issue in 1937, which was distributed each Wednesday. French readers flocked to newsstands to buy this early weekly edition, which was a huge success. However, in 1942, German occupation authorities in France stopped the distribution of most magazines, and Marie Claire was one of them. The magazine was not redistributed until 1954. At this time, it became a monthly publication versus a weekly one. In 1976, Prouvost retired and his daughter Évelyne took over the magazine and added L'Oréal Group to the company.
Marie Claire US edition was started by the Hearst Corporation, based in New York City, in 1994. Hearst has branch offices in France, Italy, and several locations in the United States such as Detroit, the West Coast, New England, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Southeast.
Marie Claire UK is part of IPC Media, based in London. In 2006, it launched its website www.marieclaire.co.uk
with segments on daily news, catwalk show, photographs and reports, fashion and beauty, buys of the day, daily horoscopes and competitions.
In Australia, marie claire magazine is part of Pacific Magazines, the magazine publishing arm of Australian TV network, the Seven Network. The marie claire website provides daily fashion, beauty and lifestyle news to Yahoo!7.
The Japanese-language edition of Marie Claire, first published in 1982, ceased publication after the September 09 issue went on sale in July 2009, due partly to the economic downturn.