Rubel, Marguerite

Marguerite Rubel was born in Spencer, Iowa in 1925 & was brought up on a farm during the Depression. While she was still in grade school she made clothing for her family & friends out of grain & flour sacks; a favorite was a sack dress with a braided twine belt.

After high school she moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she built airplanes & trained as a pilot. She moved to San Francisco to join the Womans Auxiliary Service Pilots (WASPS). But she was too young to join so she worked as a waitress, modeled clothing & also owned a small grocery.
She attended school to learn pattern making & began sewing for friends. In 1945 San Francisco hosted the founding of the UN & she made raincoats for some of the attendees. They were a hit & this proved to be the beginning of her professional career.

She founded Marguerite Rubel Manufacturing in the late 1940s, which specialized in coats & jackets. Her outerwear was carried at Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Joseph Magnin & I. Magnin. Her raincoats were noted for not looking like raincoats as they were more fashionable than the normal raincoat.
Her most famous garment may have been the Map Jacket, which featured a wraparound graphic of the world. President Bush wore one en route to a summit meeting in 1991.

She died in 2010 and at the time was the oldest surviving member of San Francisco Fashion Industries, which was established in 1920.

Written by thespectrum


from a late 1960s coat  - Courtesy of retroglamour
from a late 1960s coat
Courtesy of retroglamour
from a 1950s velvet coat - Courtesy of cocosbigcloset
from a 1950s velvet coat
Courtesy of cocosbigcloset

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