MARILYN MIGLINIn the beginning, the present, and into the future…
“I believe in Fairy Tales”
Born on the northwest side of Chicago, raised by a single mother after having lost her father at a very young age, Marilyn attended Schurz High School and began working to help support her family. She attended Northwestern University on a math scholarship while beginning her career as a model and ballerina. She modeled for Marshall Field’s prestigious 28 Boutique, taught ballet, and worked as a Chez Paree Adorable in Chicago’s famous Chez Paree club.
Soon after, she married Lee Miglin, an up-and-coming real estate developer who built such landmarks as Oakbrook Terrace Tower, Presidents Plaza and Madison Plaza in Chicago, and more. As a model, she could not find the right products necessary for her trade. This led her to realize that Chicago had a great need for unique beauty products and opened her first store, Marilyn Miglin Model Makeup on Oak Street.
Marilyn believed in empowering women to be the best they can be. As her business grew, she opened a laboratory to develop the finest skincare and cosmetics.
True to her altruistic nature, she became a founding member of the advisory board for the University of Illinois Craniofacial Center.
The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine bestowed Marilyn with their first annual Best Face Forward Humanitarian Award for her work.
Marilyn went on to launch one of her most successful fragrances, Pheromone, sold nationwide at major department stores. It grew to become one of the top 10 luxury fragrances sold nationwide. She was one of the first celebrities to sell fragrance on the Home Shopping Network, selling countless bottles of perfume, skincare, and cosmetic Confidence Kits for over 26-years.
With the release of her next fragrance Destiny, she founded The Women of Destiny Program, recruiting 200 of Chicago’s most successful women to serve as mentors for young women in their chosen profession with the goal to show women what they are capable of.
Her education and empowerment of women led United Airlines to select Marilyn’s Corporate Training Division to complete United Airlines New Hire Training Program. The program won the airline industry’s prestigious award for the most comprehensive training.
Throughout her career, Marilyn believed in giving back to the community. She served on Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Convention and Tourism Bureau and the State of Illinois’ Board of Economic Development. Marilyn was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Chairman of the Fashion Group Foundation. She was one of the first women invited to become a member of Rotary International breaking the barrier of a traditionally men’s only organization. She was honored to become a member of the Committee of 200, a national organization of successful female businesswomen.
As President and founder of the Oak Street Council, she raised more than $1 million to preserve and promote Oak Street’s character and place in the world’s best shopping experiences.
It is a fitting honor then; Oak Street was given the honorary name of “Marilyn Miglin Way”.
One of her many achievements and honors includes the Raoul Wallenberg International Humanitarian Award. A burn and disfigurement unit at the Raoul Wallenberg Pediatric Day Hospital in Jerusalem was dedicated in her honor for her tireless efforts on behalf of children. Through all these endeavors, she continued to empower and encourage women to ignite their passion and,
“Always put your best face forward”.
As our mom always said, “I believe in Fairy Tales.” Her company Marilyn Miglin L.P., after almost 60 years, will go on in the same spirit as we the family, “Put our best face forward to continue her never-ending story.”
Marlena and Duke Miglin