NYGÅRD International is a privately-held fashion company founded in 1967 by Peter Nygård. Its brands – SLIMS, Peter Nygård, Bianca Nygård, Tan Jay, ALIA, Allison Daley and several private labels – offer contemporary style, quality, a consistent fit and value at all price points.
The company has continuously expanded over the last 40 years. Its steadily growing retail division consists of over 170 dedicated stores in North America, over 6,000 department store shop-in-shops worldwide, an online store (www.nygard.com) and over 1 million square feet of North American distribution space which ships over 20 million garments annually.
NYGÅRD is known as a North American fashion industry leader in its development of a “fast to market” automated supply chain merchandising and logistics system. This system electronically manages garment flow, from original design to floor model order, shop floor manufacturing to wholesale warehousing and distribution. NYGÅRD’s proprietary systems are fully integrated with retail point-of-sale systems for real-time performance tracking and automated inventory replenishment.
Along with its corporate headquarters located in the heart of Times Square, the company lays claim to complete design, production and distribution facilities in Los Angeles, Toronto and Winnipeg, superb research and design studios in New York and Shanghai, and sales offices throughout Canada and the US.
NYGÅRD also carries an array of fine licensed products including outerwear, swimwear, dresses, footwear, handbags, jewellery, accessories, eyewear, luggage and soft home furnishings.
NYGÅRD Company History
Evolution of an Empire
1967: A wise investment
Peter Nygård gathers his life savings and borrows $8,000 capital to purchase 20% of a ladies garment manufacturer with $800,000 in annual sales. Within a few years he owns the company outright – Tan Jay is born.
1968: Manitoba Fashion Institute
Peter founds the Manitoba Fashion Institute with the mandate to undertake activities that will improve the economic climate and viability of the apparel industry. He is still an active Executive Member.
1968: Expansion into Asia
Peter expands to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea as one of the first in the industry to establish the sourcing of sweaters and shirts from Asia.
1969: Montreal expansion
Firing on all cylinders, Nygård opens a factory and design centre in Montreal.
1973: Trailblazing in Asia
Nygård, always an industry pioneer, returns to Asia and establishes a joint venture agreement with existing factories. This trailblazing contract, which becomes the hallmark of his success, enables the factories to produce garments exclusively and specifically for Nygård.
1974: Notre Dame factory opens
Nygård expands into a 60,000 sq. ft. building at Notre Dame in Winnipeg. This full fledged factory is the first in the industry to include air-conditioned facilities for sewing operators.
1977: Inkster plant opens
Nygård opens his new 155,000 sq. ft. Inkster plant in Winnipeg. This new plant has an extensive production and distribution capacity engineered with the most modern systems and equipment.
1978: Expansion into USA
Further expansion occurs rapidly and the company begins the massive undertaking of expansion into the United States. Offices and design facilities open in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Seattle.
1980: Manufacturing facilites expand
To augment the success of the US expansion and the increasing sales in Canada, Nygård establishes joint manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Tianjin, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
1980-1990: Where Fashion Meets Technology
Peter invests initial $16M in Information Technology to build a streamlined computerized operation, with the goal of eliminating traditional paper-based manufacturing methods.
1982: Planting the seeds of NAFTA
“You don’t know how far you can go until you push the limits” – this is the year that Nygård plants the seeds of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Nothing has made a bigger impact on the Canadian Fashion industry than this agreement and the initiation of it began in 1982 when Nygård writes a strategic position paper, which results in his appointment to Chair of the Advisory Committee on future Canadian long-term Industrial strategy. From there grows Nygård’s recommendation to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), first with the U.S. which ultimately becomes the foundation agreement for Mexico’s entry in 1992 – known as NAFTA.
1983: Canadian Apparel Manufacturer's Institute
Appointed Chairman of The Canadian Apparel Manufacturers Institute. He represents the industry in consolations with the federal government on trade, legislative and regulatory matters and is the industry’s government relations voice.
1984: Textile and Clothing Industry Task Force
Nygård is appointed Chairman of a 15-member task force created to recommend long-term industrial strategies for Canada’s textile and clothing industries to the Canadian Federal Government.
1985: Representing the apparel industry on the ITAC
Appointed as the only apparel representative to the International Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC), a body which is charged with the task of formulating and advising the government on all matters of trade.
1986: Chairman of SAGIT
Nygård is appointed as Chairman to the Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) to further assist with the principles and policies of Free Trade.
1987: Toronto HQ opens
The company’s International Sales and Marketing $8M Headquarters Building in Toronto opens, a showcase for both Toronto and the Fashion Industry.
1988: Return to Finland
Peter returns to his native Finland as the Keynote Speaker at the Opening of Congress which attracted 1,700 delegates from 47 countries of the world.
1989: Canada - USSR Business Council
Peter becomes the founding member of the Canada – USSR Business Council as the leading voice for trade between the two countries. This honorary appointment results in face to face meetings with world leaders including the Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
1990-2000: Continued investment in technology
Peter invests an additional $50M to implement web based communication with retailers and suppliers. Code named NS2000, the system uses the internet to make Nygård’s operations transparent, providing an automatic ability to field every commercial transaction – electronic supply chain management.
1992: Peter Nygård Signature debuts at Saks
Peter makes headlines as Saks Fifth Avenue rolls out the red carpet for the launch of Peter Nygård Signature and his personal appearances throughout the USA. When Peter Nygård presents his Signature Collection on the runway it draws out a crowd of supermodels, celebrities, and loyal customers.
1993: Expansion into Mexico
Peter sets his sights for expansion in Mexico and establishes his own offices, production management, inspectors and quality control within his joint-venture factories in Actopan. Pachuca and Pueblo to ensure consistency and quality in the Nygård brand.
1995: ARTS2 manufacturing facility opens
Nygård opens the premier manufacturing facility in Canada – called ARTS2 (Automatic Re-order to Sales). This is the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility in the world, representing the total integration of computer information systems with CAD/CAM systems. By being electronically connected to the cash registers of Nygård’s biggest customers, the system receives a download of the retailer’s weekly point-of-sale data and generates re-orders automatically based on sales.
1998: AIM All-Star Award for International Excellence
Nygård receives the prestigious AIM All-Star Award for International Excellence in manufacturing and for demonstrating innovation in technology, manufacturing excellence and creative leadership.
1999: Licensee products debut
Nygård broadens his fashion repertoire and offers an array of Licensee products to include Footwear, Handbags, Small Leather Goods, Luggage, Accessories, Eye wear, Outerwear, Lingerie, Swimwear, Bridal Wear, Soft Home Furnishings and Leather Garments.
2000: Official launch of nygard.com
Nygård, along with daughter Bianca, Web Chief of nygard.com, celebrate the official launch of the fashion site www.nygard.com in Beverly Hills and continue the tour throughout Canada with their 3-D Fashion Events.
2002: LA service centre opens
Nygård expands in the US with his ‘State-of-the-Art’ L.A. Service Centre; this facility is capable of shipping over $400M of goods annually – ‘8U’ is part of the 300,000 sq. ft. futuristic warehousing complex with a holding capacity for 2M units. Innovative Nygård Vcom screens provide ‘real-time tracking’.
2003: Microsoft showcases NYGÅRD
MICROSOFT recognises NYGÅRD as the winner of an International competition where entrants used the Microsoft® .NET Framework to build a Web services-based Purchase Order system. Microsoft also showcased NYGÅRD as one of their business case studies. By eliminating many manual processes, NYGÅRD’s new ePO system saves over 1000 person-hours per month.
2003: Keynote speaker at IADS
Peter Nygård is the Keynote Speaker at the prestigious 75th annual International Association of Department Stores Conference (IADS). Joining Peter Nygård in this elite group of Chief Executive Officers were Yves Carcelle (Chairman/CEO, Louis Vuitton), Paul Charron (CEO, Liz Claiborne), Leonard Lauder (CEO, Estee Lauder), and Dr. Bruno Salzer (CEO, Hugo Boss).
2004: Best of Scene Award
Peter Nygård is presented with the ‘Best of Scene Award’ for his company’s 35 years of business, design excellence and customer service, during the 29th Annual Dallas Fashion Awards Gala at the Dallas Market Centre.
2005: First NYGÅRD Fashion Park opens
NYGÅRD, Canada’s #1 Women’s Fashion House, celebrated the Grand Opening of its first FASHION CONCEPT STORE: NYGÅRD FASHION PARK at Heartland Town Centre, Mississauga, Ontario.
2007: VICS Collaborative Commerce Achievement Award
NYGÅRD is presented with the VICS Collaborative Commerce Achievement Award which is ranked among the most prestigious in retailing, consumer goods, and related industries for the partnership created with Dillard’s.
2007: Partnership with Dillard's begins
The NYGÅRD brand is promoted in more than 300 U.S. Dillard’s department stores, building 1,000-square-foot boutiques within each outlet. During this time, Nygård receives numerous Keys to the City Awards across the United States.
2008: NYGÅRD Fashion Park stores open in Winnipeg
Grand Opening of Manitoba’s flagship NYGÅRD Fashion Park Stores in Winnipeg.
2009: New York fashion concept store opens
NYGÅRD’s first ever New York Fashion Concept store holds its grand opening in the heart of Times Square at 1431 Broadway – in the same block as the World Headquarters.
2011: CME presents hall of fame award to Nygård
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) present MB Hall of Fame award to Peter Nygård based on his leadership, innovation, risk taking, vision & Builder of the best development practices in training & implementation of revolutionary product systems & processes.
2011: Stem cell research begins
Prompted by a desire to regain the fitness of his athletic youth & be proactive about his heath rather than reactive he began researching stem cells & realized the potential for developing anti-aging treatments.
2012: Quebec stores open
NYGÅRD expands and opens stores all over Quebec.
2013: Healthy living agenda begins
Nygård promotes a Healthy Living agenda at all of his offices. State of the art gyms are installed and natural, healthy food is introduced on the menus at the Nygård Cafés.
2013: Flagship store in Galeries Lafayette Jakarta opens
NYGÅRD celebrates the Grand Opening of its flagship fashion store in Galeries Lafayette Jakarta. This is the first store in Jakarta to feature NYGÅRD brands, Peter Nygård & Bianca Nygård. Peter Nygård, was joined at the official 7:30pm ribbon-cutting ceremony by many VIP guests & customers including, Mr. Phillipe Houze, the owner of Galeries Lafayette, Mr. Kai Suer, Ambassador of Finland and Mrs. Corinne Breuze, French Ambassador to Indonesia.
2013: NYGÅRD launches NYGÅRD SLIMS
The reinvention started with a look at the competition’s compression leggings and skinny jeans. Nygård didn’t like what he saw, so he engineered SLIMS to accentuate all women’s bodies – lengthening legs, firming up middles and lifting the butt.
2013: Peter Nygård honoured with Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal
Former Lieutenant-Governor Pearl McGonigal and Senator Rod Zimmer present Nygård with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for his work raising money and awareness for local cancer charities and his outstanding contribution to Canada and the Commonwealth.
2014: NYGÅRD launches indigo knit denim
Indigo knit denim is designed to make you feel an entire size smaller, lifting and shaping a woman’s figure to enhance her curves.
2016: NYGÅRD launches LUXE SLIMS
NYGÅRD SLIMS have successfully intermixed on-trend fashion and maximum comfort with exclusive SLIMCURVE technology and ponte compression waistbands.
2017: NYGÅRD launches Luxe Denim SLIMS
Luxe Denim SLIMS offer ultimate comfort and compression in a luxurious look and feel. This exclusive denim 360 fabric has 4-way stretch and 24/7 recovery, giving you a perfect fit every time.
2017: NYGÅRD launches Peter Nygård Jeans
This changes everything! Peter Nygård was involved in every aspect of the new jean design. Premium luxe fabric moulds to the body to fit your curves perfectly, these are the new standard of fit, they are what your curves have been dreaming of! #The Best Jean in the World
2018: 50 years and getting younger
NYGÅRD International begins its year-long celebration of the man and the company, a true rags to riches success story!