Chances are if you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s and flipped open a fashion magazine, you’ve likely heard of Bijan, the Persian born designer who took men’s high fashion by storm starting in the late 1970s. You’ve seen the trademark signature, you’ve encountered the fragrance ads, you may perhaps know that his name was synonymous for a time with men’s luxury clothing or that his exclusive, appointment-only boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills has been described as “the most expensive store in the world.” You may even know that there is a particular hue of mustard yellow directly synonymous with Bijan’s brand.
Everywhere you turn in the Beverly Hills store, a Mediterranean-style Palazzo now run and operated by Bijan’s son, Nicolas Bijan Pakzad (after Bijan’s passing several years ago), you see a particular brand of opulent mustard yellow adorning the walls, the furniture, the accessories placed everywhere for decoration. Rolls Royce and Bugatti also partnered with them (on the request of the carmakers) and have limited edition, unique convertibles, coupes and four-door sedans, with the personalized Bijan touch which includes crocodile trim, paisley tops, canary hued exteriors. Rolls Royce has never collaborated with another company from a design standpoint.
Bijan’s brand is now slightly diluted and doesn’t have the cache it once did among the jet set, elite and heads of state (five presidents were said to be among his clientele). This was the sort of place that would easily sell a $120,000 chinchilla bedspread, $65,000 crocodile-trimmed luggage, and cologne at $1,500 for six ounces. These pieces still have a high resale value and are collectible. The bespoke lifestyle is still being offered to those who can afford the private services and may return to its original glory days. But it may be tough as Bijan Paksad was such a one-of-a-kind presence and had both the magic and the flair in equal measure.
“The world said to conform, the world said to settle for less, the world said to compromise and no one would know… so I made my own world.”
Attribution to Beverly Hills Resident, 1st Dibs, New York Times