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PETER NYGÅRD IS ON TOP OF THE FASHION WORLD IN CANADA & UNITED STATES

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MAY05

 

PETER NYGÅRD IS ON TOP OF THE FASHION WORLD IN CANADA & UNITED STATES

 

By horoscope I am a lion", says Peter Nygård who is sitting in his office at his Winnipeg facility.  He says that he was born to lead & to manage.  He also has a competitive edge to him - during his school years he was involved in all the sports - he wanted to be the best.  In 1976 he was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team & today he chuckles that he is the 'tennis champion' in his company.  

 

Peter Nygård 

 

If asked about the secret of his success - he says its "Genetics, Finnish roots & in particular Finnish Sisu (perseverance)."

 

Had he stayed in Finland however, the opportunities would not have existed to achieve the calibre of success that he is enjoying today in North America, the country is very small. Nygård is grateful to his parents who decided to migrate ... although the beginnings in the new country were very humble.

 

"Our first home was a one-room converted coal shed in Deloraine. MB.  I recall arriving there by train & my mother being dressed in her 'finest'!

 

The fashion business is 'perfect' for Nygård - it allows him to fully use his creativity -- he says with a smile that he would have also made a great engineer!  Nygård has designed all his facilities himself including all technology which is at the core of the company.  Microsoft's IT-guru Bill Gates, has praised Nygård's technology to be amongst the best in the world. 

 

"... I suppose I could have also been a movie director ..". says Nygård as he is pondering about his life.

 

The present & the future keeps this man busy - his home in the Bahamas is twice the size of Bill Gates' & is a smidgeon smaller than the Buckingham Palace.  On the business front the focus is on Europe, Russia, Mexico & China.  "In 20 years, China will be the world's richest country", Peter predicts.

 

7 Children

 

Peter Nygård has 7 children - "I am a very good father - I try to be the best", he laughs.

 

The 3 oldest children, Bianca, Åliå & Kai, are from a long-time relationship.  Bianca lives with her husband & daughter in the Bahamas & is involved in the business.  Åliå lives in Winnipeg & is working for the company, the youngest of these 3, Kai, is studying business at the University of Seattle.  Peter is very proud of his children, when asked who reminds him most of himself - he replies that if you put them all together than all of them!  Bianca is probably the most artistic, Kai has a good business sense & Åliå has the technological know-how.

Peter Nygård's 16-year old son Mika, has a Finnish mother, 15-year old Jessar lives in California.  The younger ones are 6-year old Scarlet who lives with her Polish-born mother Angelica in Toronto, & there is Xar who is 2.   All of the kids are important & close to Peter's heart.  He keeps in constant touch with all of his children & the 6 oldest were present at his company's 35 year Anniversary Gala in Winnipeg, MB.

 

"Money does bring the children to the table - but I do not go overboard.  Its important that the children learn to respect a good solid work ethic", says Nygård.  He admits that money has been of help as the children are able to attend the best schools, participate in their chosen hobbies & enjoy many other comforts that having money brings.  Nygård always remembers his own childhood & how he never went without anything even though money was tight.

 

Peter spends much time with his children as are all frequent visitors at his home in the Bahamas - even though they don't see each other everyday, they are in constant contact.

 

To Nygård it is important to have the respect of his children - they all have the opportunity to become involved with the business - but that is not a must.

 

I had the 'Woman of my Dreams'

 

"My wife 35 years ago, was the woman of my dreams -- I was very happy.  But she left me after 3 years of marriage, & that is still painful at times", says Nygård.  "She left  because I worked too hard, I was already then somewhat of a workaholic.  I didn't use to sleep much in those days, now I get 6 hours a night", says Nygård"There is a price that you pay - & my price was the marriage", Nygård admits.

 

"I have not been able to fulfill the expectations of any one woman - a woman wants someone who is 'always there' - present in the day-to-day life - & every man needs a strong woman by his side, just like my mother was to my father," Nygård says.  He says that he would love to find a woman much like his mother - she is the one who kept the marriage & the family together.

 

"I live somewhat of a jet-set lifestyle, today in the Bahamas, tomorrow in Hollywood, Paris, Canada.  Most of my friends also have this type of a lifestyle.  I am never in one place long enough to really get to know someone, let alone fall in love."  "I have many people around me, many friendships that have stayed by my side through the years", tells Nygård.

The 35 year Anniversary Gala told the tale of this Jet Setter, with congratulatory greetings & video collages with the Kennedy family, George Bush Sr., & many other celebrities.  Bo Derek also called her friend during our interview.

 

"I value the friendships that I have & its important to me to keep these people close - I don't want to lost touch with them", he says of his close friendships.  Peter is still in touch with his first girlfriend Lauren, who at 18 participated in the Miss Canada Pageant, as well as with former classmates & sports coaches - these are friendships that will last a lifetime.

 

Money today for Nygård means the opportunity to be involved in charities & make a difference.  In Canada he is largely known as a humanitarian, with a cause to find a cure for breast cancer - with portable mammography units travelling across the country.

 

Money made hundreds of his long-term employees (20+ years) happy, when at the company's 35 year anniversary gala, each were presented with a $10,000 cheque!

 

 

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