Now, though, he's back. He's relaunching his business, teaching courses ("Following Your Entrepreneurial Dreams" at New York's Learning Annex), and lecturing MBA students at New York University's Stern School of Business.
What's a failed businessman doing giving advice? "You never really experience anything if you don't fail," explains Peterman, 59, outfitted in his trademark cowboy jacket ($184) and Australian "Drover's" hat ($69). "Failing is one of the most important processes of learning." As for his catalog, he has bought back his name and plans to resume publication in June. His e-commerce Web, johnpeterman.com, site is now up and running.
And guess who's one of his business partners? The actor John O'Hurley, who played him on Seinfeld. By Joan Oleck