I. Magnin was a legendary San Francisco department store that was founded in 1876 by Mary Ann Magnin and named for her husband Isaac. Originally, the couple sold baby clothing, which Mary Ann made, and Isaac sold as a peddler. The following year they opened a store that sold the clothes along with ladies’ toiletries. They soon expanded their offerings with a selection of bridal fashions, lingerie, and trousseau items, all made from beautiful but expensive European fabrics and laces. I. Magnin developed a reputation for selling only the highest quality goods.
In 1906 their store was leveled by the Great San Francisco Earthquake, but that did not stop the Magnins. They continued to sell from their home until a new store could be rebuilt. In the next ten years the family began opening branch stores all over California. The Magnins’ four sons were also involved in the stores, with son Joseph eventually opening his own store, Joseph Magnin.
In 1944 the family sold their interest in the stores to Bullock’s, a Los Angeles department store and in 1964 Bullock’s became a part of Federated Department Stores. Then in 1988, Macy’s gained control of Federated. By 1994 the last I. Magnin stores were either closed or changed to the Macy’s name. Today, Macy’s has a house line called I. Magnin.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com