Bijan Dies at Age 67


bijou pakzad
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Iconic designer Bijan Pakzad has died at 67.

Fashion royalty Bijan Pakzad, who has outfitted everyone from President Barack Obama to the Queen of England, has died at age 67 following a stroke.

“Today, Saturday April 16, 2011, at 8:05 a.m., our dear Dr. Bijan Pakzad passed away peacefully with his family members at his side,” a recorded message at the luxury designer’s Beverly Hills boutique announced. According to the L.A. Times, Pakzad suffered a stroke while at work on April 14 and never recovered.

Born in 1944 to an affluent entrepreneurial family, Pakzad began designing clothes at age 15. He emigrated to the United States from Iran in 1971 and, five years later, opened his by-appointment-only House of Bijan boutique on Beverly Hills’s ritzy Rodeo Drive.

The one-named wonder would go on to create exclusive collections of menswear (Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger were customers), fragrances, and jewelry, and was proud of his reputation as the costliest couturier around.

“I design the highest quality of clothing. I happen to be the most expensive clothing designer in the world,” Pakzad says in a video on his company’s Web site, then adds with a laugh, “I am sorry for that.”

Not that he had reason to apologize. Pakzad was beloved among A-listers and aristocrats alike, and he amassed a clientele of 40,000 that included “the most powerful men in the word. Majesties, royal families, Forbes billionaires. I have dressed 36 different presidents all over the world, and my favorite are the Americans.”

It’s easy to understand why: Pakzad credits the United States with helping him achieve the American dream. “With my ego, I would have been successful anyplace, but America gave me the opportunity to show my taste,” said the designer, who teamed up with Rolls-Royce in 2010 for a range of limited-edition motor cars.

According to the L.A. Times, Pakzad has bequeathed his business to his children Daniela, Nicolas, and Alexandrian, whose initials are represented on his award-winning DNA perfume.

Long live Bijan!

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