Skip to content

Upscale Designer Bijan Pakzad, 71, Dead From Stroke

Bijan Pakzad died Saturday from a stroke he suffered late last week. Immediately admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he failed to recover and quietly passed away.

Simply known as Bijan, Pakzad was known for his opulent lifestyle and Beverly Hills Mediterranean-style palazzo boutique — billed as the most exclusive on Rodeo Drive. His appointment-only marketing made for countless frustrated shoppers at both his Beverly Hills and New York City stores. A master marketer, Pakzad answered the criticism with his usual tongue-in-cheek manner. “Anyone can make an appointment,” he said. “I am not snobby.”

Adding to his mystique and swearing never to reveal names, Pakzad was known to have dressed 36 heads of states including presidents Obama, Bushes (H. and W.) and Clinton. Known for his mainstream fragrances in recognizable donut-shaped bottles, his signature original cost is $1,500 for six ounces.

But, he was known for his menswear and promotional antics. Although his suits were comparably priced with other designers of his ilk, the name “Bijan” invoked champagne and caviar dreams. A car enthusiast, Pakzad owned 23 cars, his most prized was his signature yellow Rolls Royce that he parked in front of his flagship store on Rodeo Drive. Last year, he collaborated with Rolls Royce on a limited edition coupe valued at $1 million.

Pakzad was born April 4, 1940, in Tehran. His father, a wealthy industrialist, sent him to school in Switzerland and Italy, where he studied design. For seven years, he designed menswear in Florence. He opened Bijan after moving to Los Angeles in the early 1970s and quickly expanded into jewelry, fragrances and sportswear, becoming an American success story. –a. robinson