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Donald Magnin Dies at 84

He helped build Joseph Magnin fashion chain




Donald Magnin, who helped build the San Francisco-based Joseph Magnin Co. into one of the largest specialty stores in the country, has died of cancer.

Magnin, worked with his father, Cyril Magnin, brother Jerry, brother-in-law Walter Newman, and sister, Ellen Magnin Newman, the Joseph Magnin retail chain, which specialized in women’s high fashion. Joseph Magnin grew to 32 locations and built a reputation for youthful, hip and cutting-edge merchandise.

“He was a true merchant – the type that doesn’t exist the same way today, or at least not to the same extent. He was smart and intuitive, and Joseph Magnin was such a leader in its day with many ‘firsts,’” his daughter, Ann Magnin, a New York fashion publicist told Women’s Wear Daily. “He was a merchant and had an instinctive way about fashion, giftware and the home. He knew what was going to be popular, and cast a pretty wide net.”

Magnin began his career as a teenager in the mailroom of his family business, which was founded and named for Donald’s grandfather. Joseph Magnin was the son of Isaac Magnin, who built I. Magnin with his wife and four sons, but then Joseph left to start his own retail store.

In 1984, the company was sold to Amfac Inc., which folded in 1984 after declaring bankruptcy. Magnin went on to start Domain, an importer of specialty gift items and worked there until he retired in 1995.

In addition to his daughter Ann, sister Ellen and brother Jerry, he is survived by a son, Jeff; daughter, Susan Magnin-Greinetz, and five grandchildren.




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