When Fashion Ads Were Illustrated

In San Fran­cisco, in the early ‘50s, the major clothing stores placed large illus­trated ads in a number of our local news­pa­pers. The stores like Roos Bros. (Roos/​Atkins), The White House, The City of Paris, and I. Magnin & Company— all featured their usually conser­v­a­tive styles using our local illus­tra­tors of the time.

I remember Joseph Magnin Co. (J Magnin or simply JM) just as I was begin­ning my art career. The first of their stores was atthe corner of Stockton and O’Farrell Streets but soon after that they opened in the Finan­cial District…on Mont­gomery Street. This made it easy for me to run down the street from the Belli Building to pick up some­thing new. Every­thing that JM offered : clothing, hats, shoes, and a wide variety of useful and novel gifts — appealed to the youth market — and their ads through the years showed a growing devel­op­ment of youthful art style changes too. I often tacked the full color JM ads on my studio walls.

These exam­ples are from the yearly (juried) exhi­bi­tions presented by the Art Direc­tors and Artist Club of San Fran­cisco and some of these ads were also award winners in their cate­gory. The copy­writing was very creative, also, but sorry to say, it is not clear here because this collec­tion has been scanned from ADASF’s Annuals. I don’t have a copy from each year, but from the ones that I have, I have scanned small b/​w halftones (some as small as 2 1/​2” high, so quality is lacking. Try to imagine color and some of them at full news­paper page size.

Joseph Magnin Co. 1958 Artist: Betty Brader Ashley Art Director : Marget Larsen (Click on the image to see a larger view)

Joseph Magnin Co. 1963 1, 2, 3 Artist : Betty Brader Ashley Art Director : George Coutts Copy­writer :Lois de Banzie 4 Artist :Joan Lowell Art Director : George Coutts /​Gil Brunk Copy­writer :Lois de Banzie (Click on the image to see a larger view)

Joseph Magnin Co. 1964 1 Artist : Betty Brader Ashley Art Director : George Coutts 2 Artist : Verena Deu Pree /​Joan Lowell Art Director: Gil Brunk Copy­writer : Louise Garcia 3, 4 Artist : Verena Deu Pree Art Director: Gil Brunk Copy­writer : Lois de Banzie 5 Artist : Joan Lowell Art Director : Gil Brunk Copy­writer : Lois de Banzie (Click on the image to see a larger view)

Joseph Magnin Co. 1965 1, 2, 3 Artist : Joseph Allen Hong Art Director Joseph Allen Hong Copy­writer: Louise Garcia 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Artist : Betty Ashley Art Director :Joseph Allen Hong Copy­writer : Louise Garcia 13, 14 Artist : Verena Deu Pree Art Director :Joseph Allen Hong Copy­writer :Louise Garcia (Click on the image to see a larger view)

Joseph Magnin Co. 1966 Credits missing (Click on the image to see a larger view)

Joseph Magnin Co. 1967 1, 2 Artist : Gail Mitchem Art Director : Marlon Chapman Copy­writer : Louise Garcia 3 Artist : Tom Rice /​Verena Deu Pree Art Director :Tom Rice Copy­writer :Louise Garcia 4 Artist : Verena Due Pree Art Director : Joseph Hong Copy­writer :Louise Garcia (Click on the image to see a larger view)