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)