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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Steger’

A saleswoman was assigned to me. She walked me to a small sofa in a dark corner of the salon, and then the questions began: What colors do you like? Do you want a print? Full or straight skirt? Strapless? What size are you? When I told her I was a 10, she smiled and said, ‘I think perhaps a 12.’ I hated her but she was the one who had access to all those wonderful, beautiful Magnin clothes that were kept behind closed doors. She was my key to glamour. 

Pat Steger (1932-1999), San Francisco native and society columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, 1974-1999.

Ms. Steger is recounting her experience shopping at the iconic San Francisco store, I. Magnin. She wanted something special for her senior high school dance and the third floor of I. Magnin was the place to go. This would have been in the late 1940s when there were no racks of clothes for customers to sift though. Instead the clothes were kept in the back and saleswomen would pull out items they felt were to the customer’s taste. Ms. Steger goes on to say that after rejecting six or seven selections, the saleswoman presented the perfect dress – a teal strapless evening gown by Ceil Chapman, in a size 10. Suddenly she loved the saleswoman.

I found this quote in a most interesting book all about the history of I. Magnin – A Store to Remember by James Thomas Mullane (Falcon Books, 2007).

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