Arts & Life
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This article was published 13/9/2018 (773 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s childhood home, a one-room homestead with some original furniture, is tucked into a corner of the entrance to his recently renovated 155,000-square foot head office and distribution building on Inkster Boulevard.
Nygård, 40-year employee Rene Law and 48-year employee Irene Golinski cut the ribbon Wednesday to officially unveil the $5-million expansion to the building and celebrate the 50th anniversary of his company.
The Inkster building, which opened in 1976, is a large leap from the company’s humble beginnings on Adelaide Street in 1968, Nygård told an assembled crowd of about 200 people, including employees, family, friends and some dignitaries. Guests included former lieutenant-governor Pearl McGonigal, MLA Scott Johnson (St. James) and Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan).
"This particular building and this particular development, yeah, I know it’s gone a little overboard, but I don’t know how else to do it anymore. It’s always got to be the best or nothing at all," Nygård said to appreciative laughter from the crowd. "This is sort of taking New York into Winnipeg and taking Falcon Lake into Winnipeg right on Inkster."
Nygård said he designed the outdoor space around the building, which includes an enormous wood-and-stone barbecue pit, to reflect his Falcon Lake vacation home.
"We also are playing our role of making an investment into Winnipeg and making an investment into Manitoba and making an investment back into Canada," Nygård said. "This is a visual symbol of our investment and there’s a lot behind this visual symbol."
Jim Bennett, Nygård vice-chairman, said the company employs 400 people in the Inkster facility and 1,500 in Manitoba. He said eight million garments are shipped from the Winnipeg centre each year.
The building’s entrance has been transformed into a museum, which chronicles the company’s history and doubles as a monument to Nygård. Two giant screens show fashion shows from over the years with back-lit, full-body photos of famous super models such as Linda Evangelista, Tyra Banks and Beverly Johnson lining a seating area with plank tables and faux palm trees.
But larger than life are the photographs of Nygård himself. Collages on three walls depict Nygård with actors, politicians and models he has met during his career. Electronic photo albums are scattered about the first few metres of the entrance showing photos of Nygård throughout the years of growing his empire, as a child and a young man. There’s even a classic car.
Nygård will host a gala event Friday at the RBC Convention Centre with 1,800 guests. The company said a donation to CancerCare Manitoba will be made.
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