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Designer Bijan Pakzad dies

BijanBijan Pakzad, an Iranian American designer of jewelry, fragrances and luxury menswear who ran a Beverly Hills boutique and was renowned as clothier to some of the world’s most powerful men, died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family said.

Pakzad was 67, his family said.

He suffered a stroke while working Thursday and was rushed to the hospital but never recovered, said his son, Nicolas Bijan Pakzad, 19. He said his father once named a fragrance DNA in honor of his three children, Daniela, Nicolas and Alexandra.

“He’s dressed over 40,000 clients,” Nicolas Pakzad said, including Presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. “We have a picture of all five living presidents wearing his suits.” He said his father recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for an event honoring George H.W. Bush, whom he counted as a friend.

Pakzad was born April 4, 1944, according to his family, although some public records list the year of his birth as 1940.

He was born to affluence in Iran, went to a boarding school in Switzerland and moved to the United States in 1971. He opened House of Bijan, his by-appointment-only boutique on Rodeo Drive, five years later. He put his own image on billboard ads, attached his signature to the lining of jackets and was often referred to only by his first name. He offered exclusivity and, rather than apologize for staggering prices, made them a selling point, boasting in one ad that he sold “the costliest men’s wear in the world.”

“I am not a mass designer,” he told The Times in 2003, at a time when sales of his fragrance lines, clothes and custom jewelry reportedly totaled more than $70 million annually. “What was important to me was not to have 2 million clients, like Versace, but to have 20,000 clients.” He said he had invoices reflecting clients who spent $800,000 on a single visit to his boutique.

“Journalists don’t understand, because what I do is outrageous,” Pakzad said. “They wonder, who can pay so much money for clothes? They think my customers must be Mafioso or something. Most people would not believe the way my clients live.”

Pakzad was not shy about acknowledging an outsize ego. “With my ego, I would have been successful anyplace, but America gave me the opportunity to show my taste,” he told The Times.

In a 2001 book about marketing, “Brand Slam,” brand analyst Frank Delano noted the savvy behind Pakzad’s approach. “Bijan is the artist and thinker behind his brand,” Delano wrote. “His appearance in magazine ads reminds his customers that they’re getting a signed Bijan, not a product from his studio.”

 A full obituary will follow at

-- Christopher Goffard

 Photo: Bijan Pakzad in 1988. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Comments (15)

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Rest In Peace Bijan! Heaven is painted in your favorite yellow.

My deepest condolences to Bijan’s family and his loved ones.

We will all meet humility some day, but it's better to learn it and know what to do when we meet in this life, rather than in the Next. :) Peace to all.

Rest in peace dear Bijan.
We Iranian will miss you.

My prayers go out to Bijan, his dear family, and grande friends. May he rest in peace.
Sondra Love

Im so sorry
Im so sorry
Im so sorry

A human life is a story told by God. Bijan’s was one of providence, humanity and harmony. It is so intricate to express sympathy in words. It is our tears... tears are words the heart cannot express. They heal us as they flow. Looking into our hearts, we see that in truth we are weeping for that which has been our happiness for so many years.

An authentic, unparalleled gentleman of dignity and honor, Bijan was a treasure of enormous admiration and remarkable creative brilliance.

Through his remarkable gifts, Bijan faithfully shared his warm heart by enlightening those he held most dear, always with encouraging thoughts of inspiration, perseverance and taking joy by experiencing true accomplishment.

As my employer, mentor, client and dear friend for over 20 years, Bijan was a forever compelling man. Wise and voraciously charming, he possessed the daring innovation of a true pioneer. Bijan originated the embodiment of ‘luxury’ ahead of the world that had not even begun to understand the precise essence of the tenet.

A proficient connoisseur of quality, perfection and universal design excellence, Bijan was a genius marketer of perception and image for his men's couture, haute jewelry and a spectrum of award-winning fragrances. His lofty eminence and multi-billion dollar empire as the peerless purveyor of elegance and affluence, was uniquely forged in 1976 on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, by just three words… ‘by appointment only’, offering him unprecedented access to the greatest wealth of the world.

Bijan was a powerful leader, defending his values, his culture, his legacy of incomparable influence and knowing that what makes greatness is starting something that lives on after you.

Along with Bijan’s loving family, partners, colleagues and friends, I shall treasure his memory in time everlasting. A well-lived life, taken all too soon. Praising what is lost makes the rememberance that much more dear, with peace being it’s own reward. Sleep with angels, dear Bijan.

My deepest heartfelt condolences, with much love and reverence,

Brett Charles Neubig

bijan the designer

I had the privilege of working with "Mr Bijan", as many of us called him, on his fragrance business (as a fragrance supplier) for many years. Never in my career had I met someone with such a discerning eye and a demand for perfection at every turn, and I can't imagine I ever will. He was a visionary. My deepest condolences to Daniela and his family.

No mention of Bijan's Gold Gun he sold?? It was certainly a jewelry piece to mention.....

My warmest condolences to Mr. Bijan's family. Without a doubt he touched all our lives in various shades and dimensions. He was a true artist, creator and leader in the fashion world. As a former employee I am shocked and deeply saddened by his passing.
May God keep him and bless him for all of eternity.

Deepest respects,
Michelle Jeffries Yegge

My deepest condolences to Bijan’s family and his loved ones.
What an honor to have you represent Iranian to the world
thru your talent and taste. May you rest in peace.


May he rest in peace. Once again a reminder that we can be gone in a split second. May the Almighty have mercy on his soul.

I had the sincere privilege, as former GM of a five star hotel in Florence, Italy, to have mr. Bijan with out most selected and dear VIP REPEAT Guests, He shared, with myself and everyone else in my Team, the art and kindness of being a true elegant World Traveller. I keep, covered by sincere privacy, wonderful memories of his very unique way to be a stilish and elegant gentleman.
will never forget him and , along with my former Deputy Alessandro , our most sincere hug to his family. Grazie mille Signor Bijan !


One part of Beverly Hills that can never be replaced. 67? He looked much younger and in his pictures, looked like he truly enjoyed his work and his family.

A true American success story.

My deepest condolences to MR.Bijan's Family and all his friends.
I had the privilege to work for MR Bijan as a Doorman and it was a pleasure to work for him he was very energetic, hard working designer.


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