Peter Nygård reveals in a rare interview – how much he admires the Finnish war veterans – and how he has spent millions on stem cell research.
Finnish born fashion mogul millionaire, Peter Nygård, is sitting in his private office on the 6th floor, of his 7-storey world headquarters in the heart of Times Square. From the outside you can see a large neon blue NYGÅRD sign. Although he has exotic facilities all over the world, Peter Nygård enjoys spending time in New York, in the “Mecca” of the fashion industry. Seated on a white leather couch, Nygård reflects on how grateful he is and how he attributes his success to his parents and to his Finnish roots.
“Finnish Sisu has been an integral component in my success”, says Nygård, “I was 11 years old, when our family left our 1 bedroom apartment in Helsinki, in search of a future which would provide better opportunities for my sister Liisa and for myself. Mother and Father were tenacious, courageous and skillful people”, reflects Nygård. Hilkka & Eeli had been contemplating the move for some time, and when it became a reality – the family left for North America, taking essentially nothing with them.
“We moved into a one bedroom shed, a converted coal bin, without any running water, and only an outdoor toilet. We didn’t speak any English. After some time we moved to Winnipeg. My parents opened their own bakery, which became very successful. As I reflect back on our story, I am amazed myself.. sitting here in my building at Times Square, I really think it’s a classic Rags to Riches story”, continues Peter Nygård, who made his first million before the age of 30.
PETER NYGÅRD has done very well with his fashion business, and at 72 is enjoying his life – while still working 14-hour days in the business. Nygård has factories all around the world & has over 3,500 direct employees. Indirectly over 20,000. “I have been gifted with extraordinary energy– the more demanding things get, the harder I push forward”. The man has 12 beautiful places worldwide, with not much time to spend at any one of them. Nygård laughs as he tells us that his social life is suffering a bit and there isn’t much time left for parties. While Peter Nygård does not have much time for parties anymore, he is still hosting his annual Oscar night party at the Beverly Hills Hotel next year.
Nygård travels the world in his own Boeing ‘N-Force’ aircraft. N-Force has become important in his extensive world travels. Nygård believes that in the business world it is good to know how to make money, how to save it and how to spend it.
“My aircraft is a necessity, I have my living space and my office both handy anywhere anytime – it’s beautiful and comfortable. I have worked hard all my life and the aircraft is a necessary luxury – and in fact, it is one of my homes.” An energetic business man who looks much younger than his age, Nygård wants to live as long as possible. For that reason he has spent over 20 million dollars toward stem cell research.
Nygård was drawn to this area of interest four years ago when Hilkka, his mother was gravely ill. “I was hoping to find something that would give my mother more time especially because she loved life so much. I spent millions in that effort. She was 87 when I lost her. What good is money if you do not use it to help your loved ones?” Nygård explained. “I travelled around the world looking for solutions which may have been available but which were not available in Canada. Four years ago in December, I took my first stem cell treatment. It opened up a new world to me.” Continued Nygård.
“It is understood that we all will die someday but I thought that if I could impact that situation somehow positivel —then I must do so! Before her passing , my mom warned me not to be too late with my own health. I firmly believe that if I had found the stem cell options for my mom one year before her death, she could very well be alive today.” Nygård speaks of this topic with extraordinary passion and believes in it 100%! “The changes I have incorporated within my lifestyle, have helped me to remain healthy & perhaps age more slowly – this in turn has increased my life potential. In this way I can live happily and successfully hopefully for a very long time “ .
Nygård is so committed to this that he is currently planning the building of a stem cell oriented clinic in the Bahamas. He believes that the world is full of people who want to live a healthy long life. The drawings of the future stem cell clinic structure are on the table. “Through the years I have met leading researchers, experts and doctors in this field. Within the last four years, I have knocked at every door and through this experience, I am in fact becoming a bit of an expert on this topic not only in the knowledge and understanding itself – but I have brought people together in this is field.
Do you believe that this is all in harmony with nature?
“This gives people hope for a healthier, longer more fulfilling life. I believe that this is the greatest gift I could give to the world.”
What do you see in your future?
“I will take more stem cell treatments than anyone in the world. Life is important and I want to be a part of it for the next 30, 40, 50 years. Children born today will live longer – and I would hope that I also will live longer than is usual,” says Nygård. While he has directed finances to many charitable and philanthropic causes, Nygård has also supported the Finnish war veterans. For that he has recently received a special recognition from Admiral Jan Klenberg, when he presented Nygård with a painting done by the war veterans.
Nygård is convinced that he would not be in the current position if it were not for the war veterans. They were the strength of Finland—they fought for Finland’s freedom. We must not forget them! I recently visited the Kaunila hospital for wounded war veterans and will never forget the memories they shared with me! Nygård has, over the years, promoted the history of the Talvisota (winter war) at various fashion presentations with the music of Finlandia playing in the background.
In many of his formal speeches this influential fashion world leader proudly boasts of his Finnish heritage! Throughout the many years spent around the world, Nygård has visited Finland several times. Whenever he speaks of Finland & of the war veterans, he gets melancholy – there is is much pride & compassion for those heroes.
“I am extremely proud to be able to say that I am a Finn. I find myself continually praising Finland…that country has a special place in my heart. When I reflect on the difficulties that the war veterans endured and what Finland as a country has endured—tears come to my eyes”. “Finns are amazing people, but at times, do not give themselves enough recognition. I suppose you must leave Finland to fully recognize what a truly outstanding country it really is. Everyone in Finland can be genuinely proud of their homeland.”