Bijan Pakzad (/biˌʒæn ˈpɑːkzɑːd/; Persian: بیژن پاکزاد, Persian pronunciation: [biːʒæn pɑːkzɑːd]), generally known simply as Bijan (April 4, 1940 – April 16, 2011), was an Iranian American designer of menswear and fragrances.
Early life and education
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940, although his birth year has also been claimed to be 1944. Bijan migrated to Los Angeles in 1973. His exclusive boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills was established in 1976. It has been described as "the most expensive store in the world."
In 2000 Bijan courted controversy when an advertisement featuring a "rotund [nude] model named Bella" and himself was at first rejected by many New York magazines before it was accepted by Tina Brown's Talk magazine.
Bijan's career began in Iran with the Pink Panther Boutique in Tehran.
Among his clients, Bijan claimed to count five Presidents of the United States - both George Bush and his son, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton - and other world leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Tony Blair. He also dressed other fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, and Giorgio Armani and high-profile actors including Tom Cruise and Anthony Hopkins.
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.
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.
Personal life and death
He has been married twice. His first wife was Sigi Pakzad a Swiss-German whom he met while living in Europe in the 1960s; they had one daughter, Daniela Pakzad and divorced when she was 17. His second wife was Irish-Japanese interior designer and model Tracy Hayakawa; they married in 1986 and divorced in 1995. They had two children together: Nicolas Bijan and Alexandra. She later remarried businessman David H. Murdock.
Bijan died at his Beverly Hills Home. He is buried in Pacific View Cemetery in Corona del Mar, Orange County, California.
On April 14, 2011, Bijan suffered a stroke and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He had brain surgery but never recovered and died two days later on April 16, 2011 at 8:05 am. Public records indicate he was 71. He was survived by his three children.
1. "Bijan Pakzad Obituary: The Obituary and Death Notice of Bijan Pakzad". Legacy.com. The Times says family members put his age at 67 but public records list it as 71.
2. Ghasemilee, Sara (19 April 2011). "'Most expensive' designer dies". Al Arabiya.
3. Wilson, Eric (April 18, 2011). "Bijan Pakzad, Designer of High Fashion, Dies at 71". The New York Times. p. B19.
4. 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.
6. Bella ads (contains nudity)
7. Hamilton Spectator, "The skinny on Bijan's fat lady ads", by Barbara Thomas, February 17, 2000
8. "Bijan — Luxist". Luxist.com.
9. "More is more". Los Angeles Times. 2003-01-05.
10. Washington Post: "Bijan Pakzad, designer whose men’s shop catered to rich and powerful, dies at 71" by T. Rees Shapiro April 22, 2011
11. 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
12. Huffington Post: "Iranian-American Fashion Icon Bijan Pakzad Passes Away" by Shirin Sadeghi April 16, 2011
13. Reporter, Staff. "بیژن پاکزاد، طراح مشهور ایرانی درگذشت". Kalam TV. Kalam TV.
CNN : Bijan Pakzad, fashion and fragrance designer, dies at 67 (2011/04/16)