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The Golden Jubilee Review- A Stylish Renegade Or Brilliant?

The Golden Jubilee Review

It’s not an everyday occurrence to discover an individual who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps to achieve phenomenal success with a business that’s still breaking barriers, still achieving firsts, and still innovating fifty years later. What does it take? How did he achieve it all? And how can we achieve similar successes?

That’s what we’ll explore in this tri-weekly series. We’ll break down fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s achievements and look at how his accomplishments can serve as practical applications to others in business and life.

A Stylish Renegade Or Brilliant? 

How about both? Being a renegade does not negate brilliance. Fashion mogul Peter Nygard has achieved his success from going his own way, doing things differently, and following his gut instinct about what works and what doesn’t.

And though noted for his flashy nature and flamboyance, you’d be mistaken to judge him by this. Because, it really doesn’t tell the full story of Peter Nygard.

He shared his own view of his style with Executive Editor Michelle Markman in an article entitled “Peter the Great” (California Apparel News – August 1988): “Sure, I like the niceties of life and enjoy my flamboyant image. However, people must take me seriously.”

Markman writes, “And they do…. As an industry leader and free trade advocate, Nygard chairs several of Canada’s powerful industrial and international trade committees. As a successful international businessman, Nygard has the ear of the powerful and the political around the world.”

To prove her point, included in the article is an image of a letter from then Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney. As Prime Minister, Mulroney ratified the 1988 Free Trade Treaty with the United States and negotiated the terms between the two countries and Mexico for the subsequent NAFTA document, which was ratified in 1993.

Mulroney 1986 letter to Peter Nygard before the trade negotiations reads in part, 

“Dear Peter, I am writing to express my personal appreciation of your decision to participate in the International Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC). I believe that the ITAC will offer invaluable advice to the Government and our trade negotiators on the international market access and trade development challenges that lie ahead in both the bilateral and multilateral fields.

“…. I believe that a strong private sector consultative mechanism will enable us to effectively pursue our international trade objectives together. Thank you again for your contribution to this national endeavor.” 

When others in his industry disagreed with Canada instituting a free trade policy, Nygard presented a different perspective. Going against the grain in his industry led to Nygard’s voice being a respected one on the free trade question Canada faced in the 1980s. 

Being a renegade does not negate one’s ability to be brilliant and effective and nor does being flamboyant. 

Nygard’s flamboyant and renegade nature has not hurt him. His autonomous business brilliance has worked well for him. As Markman asserts, “Nygard’s flair and business visions have earned him the reputation of a free trader with the right style.”

Another instance of his independent thinking and brilliance on display was highlighted in an article entitled “The Power of Peter Nygard” by Shelia Mudrick (The Fashion Network – December 1987). From her interview with Nygard, Mudrick writes,

“In the ‘60s and ‘70s when ‘youth was hot’, Nygard’s acute business sense told him to play the renegade. ‘Everybody said half the market was under 25 and went after it. I went after the other half [Peter Nygard].’

“His creative thinking took him in the opposite direction of his competitors on many levels.”

If you think about it, all of the major achievements in the world came about as a result of the explorers and achievers going against the grain. Though sometimes, unfortunately, one has to wait for the history books to give proper kudos to their efforts. 

Nevertheless, there is enough proof in history that it often pays to be a renegade.

Think Christopher Columbus: During a time when everyone thought the world was flat, Columbus insisted on setting sail for new lands in a direction that everyone thought sure would cause him to fall off the face of the earth; and the rest is history.

Think Albert Einstein: His theory of relativity was thought to be impractical, absurd or was simply ignored during his time. Now he’s considered one of the most brilliant human beings ever.

Being a renegade does not negate brilliance. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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