Bijan (designer)

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Bijan Pakzad
Born(1940-04-04)4 April 1940
Tehran, Iran
Died16 April 2011(2011-04-16) (aged 71)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Known forDesigning men's clothing, men's and women's fragrances
Spouse(s)Sigi Pakzad (divorced)
Tracy Hayakawa (divorced)
AwardsFiFi Most Successful Men's Fragrance 1988
FiFi Best Women's Fragrance Package 1988
FiFi Men's Fragrance Star of the Year Specialty/ Department Stores 1997
FiFi Best National Advertising Campaign – Men's 1997
1995 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize
2010 Otis College of Art and Design Otis Design Legend Award
2011 Oxford University "Entrepreneur of the Year"

Bijan Pakzad (/biˌʒæn ˈpɑːkzɑːd/; Persian: بیژن پاکزاد‎, pronounced [biːʒæn pɑːkzɑːd]), generally known simply as Bijan (4 April 1940 – 16 April 2011), was an Iranian designer of menswear and fragrances.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940,[1][2][3] although his birth year has also been claimed to be 1944.[4] Upon immigrating to America in 1973, Bijan settled in Los Angeles and established his exclusive boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in 1976. It has been described as "the most expensive store in the world".[5]


Bijan's career began in Iran with the Pink Panther Boutique in Tehran.

A Bijan suit jacket.

Among his clients, Bijan claimed to count five American Presidents – both George Bush and his son, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton – as well as politicians such as Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, Kastriot Uruci, Najib Razak, and the Shah of Iran.[3][2] He also dressed other fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, and Giorgio Armani, high-profile actors including Tom Cruise and Anthony Hopkins and professional footballers including Mick McCarthy and Liam Brady.[2]

Bijan's fragrances for both men and women are known for their distinctive circular glass flacon with an open center and a dividing web. When half full, the fragrance fills two separate chambers, seemingly defying the law of gravity that liquid seeks its own level. One of these perfume bottles is featured in the permanent exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution.[citation needed]

In 2000, Bijan generated controversy when he published advertisements featuring a nude "rotund model named Bella",[6] which were rejected by many New York magazines before being accepted by Tina Brown's Talk.[7] He said the ads were an homage to painters Peter Paul Rubens, Henri Matisse, and Fernando Botero, whose art has featured full-figured women, and said "I embrace the beauty of all women".[6] Once they were published in Talk, the ads were accepted by several of the publications that had previously rejected them.[6]

According to the 2001 Los Angeles Times Calendar Section, the Bijan Perfume and Fashion Business has brought in an estimated $3.2 billion in sales worldwide.[8]

Personal life, death and legacy[edit]

Bijan was married twice. His first wife of eighteen years was Sigi Pakzad[9] a Swiss-German whom he met while living in Europe in the 1960s; they had one daughter, Daniela Pakzad.[10] His second wife was Irish-Japanese interior designer[11] and model Tracy Hayakawa; they married in 1986 and divorced in 1995. They had two children together:[10] Alexandra and Nicolas.

On April 14, 2011, Bijan suffered a stroke and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[12] He had brain surgery,[4] but never recovered and died two days later on April 16, 2011 at 8:05 am. Public records indicate he was 71.[1][3]

Bijan's store on Rodeo Drive was sold to LVMH for US$122 million in August 2016.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Bijan Pakzad Obituary: The Obituary and Death Notice of Bijan Pakzad". Retrieved 6 May 2011. The Times says family members put his age at 67 but public records list it as 71.
  2. ^ a b c Ghasemilee, Sara (19 April 2011). "'Most expensive' designer dies". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Wilson, Eric (April 18, 2011). "Bijan Pakzad, Designer of High Fashion, Dies at 71". The New York Times. p. B19. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b Parisa Michelle, "Bijan Pakzad Dead at 67", CelebMagnet, April 16, 2011
  5. ^ Wright, Richard (June 30, 2003). "Mercedes rides to rescue of Rodeo Drive Concours". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on July 4, 2003.
  6. ^ a b c Designer's Ad Campaign Says Big Is Beautiful, Los Angeles Times, Retrieved July 21, 2011
  7. ^ Hamilton Spectator, "The skinny on Bijan's fat lady ads", by Barbara Thomas, February 17, 2000.
  8. ^ "More is more". Los Angeles Times. 2003-01-05. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  9. ^ Washington Post: "Bijan Pakzad, designer whose men’s shop catered to rich and powerful, dies at 71" by T. Rees Shapiro April 22, 2011
  10. ^ a b Los Angeles Times: "More is more - Over-the-top isn't high enough for Bijan, whose boutique embraces excess" by Mimi Avins January 05, 2003
  11. ^ Huffington Post: "Iranian-American Fashion Icon Bijan Pakzad Passes Away" by Shirin Sadeghi April 16, 2011
  12. ^ Reporter, Staff. "بیژن پاکزاد، طراح مشهور ایرانی درگذشت". Kalam TV. Kalam TV. Archived from the original on 2011-04-20. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  13. ^ Khouri, Andrew (August 25, 2016). "Bijan store on Rodeo Drive sells for a record $122 million". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2016.

External links[edit]