Fashion mogul Peter Nygard has many sides

“Will the real Peter Nygard please stand up.” There are many sides to fashion mogul Peter Nygard as Marina Sturdza has shared in her 1987 article “Who is the real Nygard?”

No one ever built a $200-million clothing empire on mere flamboyance, hedonism, and a knack for self-promotion, and nobody ever did it alone. And Nygard’s ability to retain top-level executives … is testimony to the caliber of Nygard’s operation and the opportunities he offers. And the company’s impressive growth record—Nygard International has never failed to turn a consistently high profit, and sales have doubled every five years—indicates that Nygard is clearly paying attention to business.

Nygard’s route to fashion supremacy may not have been as glamorous as that of his higher-end designer market peers, but in North America, the middle-market is where the numbers are and where the profit lies. What’s more, Nygard’s record has greatly endeared him to his retailers, and will doubtless earn him a privileged reception for his next venture, a signature collection pitted directly against Canada’s “better” manufacturers.

Nygard further protects his retailers’ interests (and incidentally, his own) by providing thorough product information and staff indoctrination, plus enviable display and co-op advertising support. So effective are his tactics that Nygard’s Canadian retail sales amount to $4 per capita, for every man, woman and child in this country—all the more impressive when you consider the company’s low price points—$25 to $150, and the sheer number of units represented. In total, Nygard produces 10 to 12 million garments a year in his Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Chinese factories.

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