Florence Elizabeth McVicker was born in Smith Center, Kansas, in 1908, the second in a family of nine children.  She graduated from Smith Center High School in 1926, and, with great determination, headed off to the Kansas City (Missouri), where she adopted a new name—“Mac”—and studied fashion illustration at the Art Institute of Kansas City.  Mac soon became a successful illustrator in the style of the day, drawing clothes with pen and ink, as well as with almost calligraphic brushwork and washes, and dressing them on improbably slender, impossibly long-legged mannequins. 

She married a Kansas City jazz trumpeter James Andrew Squires (1907-1988) in 1933, and around 1935, Mac and Andy headed off to New York City to make a new life.  There Mac worked as a freelance fashion illustrator for department stores, advertising agencies, newspapers and magazines for the next fifteen years, while Andy developed his own advertising business.

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