reprinted from C magazine
Although the Marengo family was originally in the ship building industry, today they are headed towards the medical spa industry. “In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Marengo family was in the shipbuilding industry in Venice,” says Jojo Marengo, who is the historian of the family. “At the end of the 17th century they extended their commerce to Syros in Greece and Marseilles in France, two important shipbuilding centers in the Mediterranean at the time. Today, the
Marengos still maintain contact with various branches of the family all over the world.
Dr. Jean Marengo (1841-1917) was the nephew of Archbishop Yanni Marengo and Grandfather of Jojo Marengo. A physician and diplomat, Dr. Marengo was the representative of French government to the Ottoman court. The Ottoman kingdom was one of the most powerful empires for the previous four hundred years, and Sultan Abdul Hamid ruled an empire that stretched from the Danube River in Austria to Yemen at the edge of the Arabic peninsula. During his numerous trips in the Empire, Dr. Marengo collected many eastern remedies and exotic preparations that have unique healing characteristics. He shared his vast knowledge and collections with his colleague Dr. Louis Pasteur. “In fact, in the Pasteur Museum today there is an Ottoman carpet that that has the inscription ‘Gift from Dr. Jean Marengo to his friend Louis Pasteur’,” states Jojo.
Archbishop Yanni Marengo (reprinted From The Catholic Encyclopedia) “The Catholic hierarchy in Greece took hold with the Archdiocese of Athens, established in1875, when Bishop Yanni Marengo of Syros (pronounced in Greek Marangos also Giovanni in some Italian documents) took up his seat there, in spite of the protest of the Government. King Otho of Bavaria, the first king of regenerated Greece, was a Catholic. In his reign the Catholics were few. But arrangements were made that the Catholics could have a place of worship wherever they existed in sufficient numbers. After Athens became the seat of government, in 1834, an abandoned Turkish mosque was given to the Catholics as a place of worship. After the lapse of some years, in 1875, archbishopric was established in Athens. The first Archbishop to occupy this See was Yanni Marengo followed by archbishops, Zaffino, De Angelis, and Delendas. Marengo was born in the Aegean Island of Syros.
Antoine (Andoni) Marengo
Dr. Marengo’s son, Antoine Marengo, dedicated his life to art and literature. He was a novelist who also wrote an interactive encyclopedia about world rulers, leaders and generals, from Attila to Zenobia. He was also a painter who painted mostly church frescoes. He also developed a shorter version of shorthand. He married Maria Zarghanis, daughter of a Greek politician from Syros, Greece, and had six children. The three sons all entered the beauty industry.
The Marengo Brothers
The Marengo Brothers – Jojo, Jean Claude and Antoine – are cosmetologists,
estheticians, designers, authors and publishers. They were marketed in Europe as the image-makers of royalty. They arrived in the United States with Queen Fredericka of Greece. Jojo accepted an offer from Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City to take on the position of artistic director. Saks built Jojo his own private styling suite where he received Diane Vreeland, then senior editor of Vogue, The Duchess of Windsor, Mrs. Senator Jacob Javits, Princess Pignatelli and other women leaders of the time. Antoine accepted the position of artistic director for Elizabeth Arden on Fifth Avenue and Jean Claude replaced Kenneth at Lilli Dache, the famed millinery designer.
Together and simultaneously, the three brothers were the art directors of the three most famous fashion names in the country. Leaving New York for Beverly Hills, Jojo and his brothers were soon recognized as the originators of what is known today as the “Day Spa.” The Marengo Institute in Beverly Hills was the first establishment in the United States that offered services never before available in one facility. Built in 1965, the spa consisted of a skin care center, body rejuvenation division, self-realization department, implantation facility, yoga studio and hair salon. Their clientele consisted of the who’s who in the social scene and the movie industry.
The Marengos are the originators of many innovations in the beauty industry. In April 1965, they opened the first Marengo Institute in Beverly Hills. By 1984 there were 6 Marengo Institutes open in San Francisco, La Jolla, Long Beach, Dana Point and Irvine.
In the Sixties he introduced the "Body Wave", a permanent wave process marketed for Elizabeth Arden under the label of "Perm Ardena". The "Body Wave" revolutionized the perm business which until then was a hair process used exclusively by senior citizens. It is today the industry's standard name for a loose perm.
In the Seventies, The Marengo introduced the first facial peel masque in the industry. The process, marketed under the name of Peel O Matique, was sold in most upscale department stores in the United States (Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Kaufman, Lazarus, etc.) A "Women's Wear Daily" article stated, "Market sources estimate Peel O Matique gross sales to top $8 million..." Today "masque" is a standard treatment in the beauty regimen of millions of people worldwide.
"Their process works with exquisite speed, comfort and efficacy ... the results could be dazzling," "Vogue" magazine says of Marengo.
In 1980 the Marengos introduced the first cellulite control clinics in the United States utilizing his invention Pneumo-patter, a cellulite reduction apparatus. The apparatus dispensed air under pressure to stimulate topical circulation in the cellulite-infected areas of the body.
Newspapers from Boston to Seattle joined in the chorus of praise for Marengo and his institute. The "Washington Evening Star" added, "Marengo invokes the muses of beauty, medicine, and the arts."
"The Marengo's spent years in Hollywood giving stars a bi-annual skin peel at $3,000 a time," "Harper's Bazaar" said. "They eventually decided women who couldn't afford it shouldn't be deprived."
In 1981 they introduced "Beautex" the first art magazine for the beauty industry. Beautex was the vanguard publication that gave the start to all art magazines in the beauty industry worldwide.
Many Marengo Spas were established in California; San Francisco, LaJolla, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point, Marengo Spa in San Francisco. Also in Ohio’s Cleveland, Columbus, Strongville, Medina, Westerville and Murietta.
The Marengo’s were the originator of the first cosmetic mask “Peel O Matique” sold in department stores nationwide.
Jojo Marengo founded in 2008 the World Art Foundation an organization comprising of painters, sculptures, galleries, museums and other participants in the art discipline.
The New Generation
Monique Marengo, daughter of Jojo and Cherie Marengo, is one of those people who knows what she wants, and doesn’t quit until she gets it. A Beverly Hills native, she spent most of her youth interning at her family business, the Marengo Institute. Together with her father, Monique founded the Art & Fashion Group to bring together the brightest minds in the beauty and fashion business. Monique led the group as its Executive Director, overseeing activities in thirty-five countries. She became the youngest person and first female to direct an international beauty organization, whose members include such luminaries as Vidal Sassoon and Isaac Mizrahi. She produced and coordinated over 1,000 educational activities a year for the Group and was the producer of the largest show in the beauty industry, held in Rimini, Italy.
Monique resides in Cleveland Ohio and runs the Marengo Luxury Spa in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Her brother, Antoine Marengo, is the youngest of the family, and the most recent addition to this growing family business. Born in Beverly Hills, Antoine’s first love is music. He’s a composer, producer and multi-instrument player, and founder of Body/Mind Music.
His company produces movie scores and many music CDs including “Transcend” used in spas worldwide. Antoine presently resides in Temecula, California and is the Chef/proprietor of Parea Old Town Restaurant.