Peter Nygård

In the response to multiple allegations of rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking against Peter Nygård, Dillard’s will no longer carry his moderate sportswear label.

The retailer said in a statement Tuesday: “In light of the serious allegations concerning Peter Nygård, which are in direct opposition to our core values, Dillard’s has refused current deliveries, canceled all existing orders and suspended all future purchases from Nygård.”

A Dillard’s spokeswoman did not respond to a query asking what will become of the existing Nygård products that are currently being sold by the retailer online and in stores.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department raided Nygård’s New York offices at 1435 Broadway, as first reported by the New York Post. Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, confirmed the seizure.

Nygard, in turn, announced through a spokesman that he is stepping down as chairman of the Nygard Companies and will divest his ownership interest.

A spokesman for Nygård issued the following statement Tuesday: “As a direct result and in furtherance of the conspiracy planned by billionaire Louis Bacon, federal agents have executed a search and seizure on Nygård offices in California and New York. As with the other actions taken as a result of Louis Bacon’s conspiracy, Nygård is not surprised by this latest action. When witnesses are paid to lie and others are paid millions of dollars to set up Peter Nygård, as Louis Bacon and his co-conspirators did and as The New York Times reported this past Sunday, it is not surprising that law enforcement would look into the fabricated and manufactured claims.”

The statement continued, “Nygård welcomes the federal investigation and expects his name to be cleared. He has not been charged, is not in custody and is cooperating with the investigation. The federal agents should similarly execute a search and seizure on Louis Bacon, Zack Bacon, Moore Capital Management, Moore Charitable Foundation and the other people and entities that were identified in Nygård’s RICO lawsuit filed against Louis Bacon.”

A spokesman for Bacon declined comment Tuesday.

A query with the FBI’s New York office was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon, and NYPD officials declined comment. NYPD and FBI investigators arrived in eight vehicles outside of Nygård’s New York offices Tuesday morning and spent about three hours in the building, according to an area security guard.

Earlier this month, 10 women, whose names have not been revealed, filed a lawsuit against Nygård alleging rape, sex trafficking and sexual assault. Some of the victims, including a few who were minors at the time, alleged they were plied with alcohol, and in some case pills by Nygård, before being raped or sodomized at “pamper” parties held at Nygård’s Mayan-inspired estate in the Bahamas.

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York listed Nygård, Nygård International Partnership and Nygård Holdings Ltd. as the defendants. The 99-page suit claims they were “instrumental in knowingly aiding, abetting, facilitating and participating in defendants’ decades-long sex-trafficking scheme.” Some of the alleged victims, including a few who were said to be underage at the time of the alleged attacks, said they were lured with the prospect of modeling contracts.

With its blue and purple neon lighting, all-glass storefront and “NYGARD” signage, the Nygård store, as well as the New York office a few doors down, is hard to miss, day or night. Despite that, the store is frequently empty and even sales associates appear to be scarce to passersby. On Tuesday afternoon, the doors to the store were locked, as were the ones at the New York office. There was no one seated in the reception area, and no one answered the buzzer outside the entrance.

However, locked doors are not uncommon at the Nygård store, according to a neighborhood salesperson, who said shoppers often ask her when the Nygård store opens after finding the doors locked. Signs in the store’s windows advertised discounts of up to 70 percent. A rotating sign for Peter Nygård Jeans flashed oversize images of women framed with such sayings as “#This changes Everything,” “#What your curves have been dreaming of” and “4Way 360 Stretch Comfort.”

Despite the numerous legal fights with his rival hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, Nygård has continued to run his signature company. In an interview with WWD last fall, Nygård said he has “moved the heart and soul of his company” back to where he started it in Winnipeg, Canada. At that time, 20 people were working in the expansive store and offices in Times Square, which used to be the company’s world. Five years ago, 200 employees were housed there, Nygård said.

In the interview, Nygård said he planned to sublease some of the seven-floor Times Square property. The apparel executive has more than five years left on the lease for his Garment District location. “New York has become less important for all of us in the garment industry. We have consolidated like many people have into more favorable climates and more economical ones. In today’s world, you can do a lot of this business virtually and on the Internet and so forth. Priding yourself on being in all these locations is not as important anymore,” he said. “We have been doing a lot of reactualization of the business. We started in the 1970s and we built a beautiful new upgraded facility. We have invested into Winnipeg and the surrounding areas,” he said.

You May Also Like

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus