Published Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Kylie Minogue presented the honour to the Roar singer, who was lauded for her success as a chart topper and her efforts to empower women all over the world.
Absent Thor star Tom Hiddleston was named the magazine's Man of the Year. He sent a video message expressing his gratitude.
Meanwhile, Lily Allen and Tinie Tempah were named the female and male UK Recording Artist recipients, and Pharrell Williams picked up the International Recording Artist trophy.
Accepting her award, Allen said she felt "humbled" to have returned to music again.
"I'm feeling very good, very happy. I can't believe it - I'm in shock," she said after collecting her award.
"I'm very happy and very humbled to be back."
Other recipients included Harry Potter star Emma Watson (Actress of the Year) and Bradley Cooper's girlfriend Suki Waterhouse (Model of the Year).
Top fashion photographer David Bailey was handed a Lifetime Achievement honour.
Winner of the Elle Style Awards 2014:
UK Recording Artist Female: Lily Allen
British Designer of the Year: Christopher Kane
Model of the Year: Suki Waterhouse
UK Recording Artist Male: Tinie Tempah
Accessory Designer of the Year: Kate Hillier
Man of the Year: Tom Hiddleston
Red Carpet Designer of the Year: Emilia Wickstead
Contemporary Designer of the Year: Isabel Marant
Fashion Innovator: Nicola Formichetti for Diesel
International Recording Artist: Pharrell Williams
Actress of the Year: Emma Watson
Lifetime Achievement: David Bailey
Woman of the Year: Katy Perry