In the early ‘70s, an enterprising men’s clothier from Iran immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. Bijan Pakzad quickly established a reputation for purveying the highest quality of men’s fashion, upgrading the American gentlemen’s very perception of what a well-cut, beautifully tailored suit crafted from exquisite fabrics could be. More importantly, Pakzad showed men of power and distinction what stylish wardrobe could do for their image.
Soon dubbed the founder of the ‘West Coast Saville Row,’ Pakzad made an indelible mark on the very notion of men “dressing the part.” The brand ultimately expanded globally, and earning acclaim from fashion connoisseurs and critics alike, winning awards especially for its iconic fragrance bottles and outré ad campaigns, in addition to numerous honors for fashion design. Bijan would go on to dress everyone from Tom Cruise to Tom Ford to the very much missed at the moment Barack Obama.
His 1976 establishment of the luxurious Bijan menswear boutique on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive bore a sign reading: “by appointment only”—echoes of the great British tailors. Entering past the locked doors into his exclusive atelier, distinguished gents from all around the world were introduced to a world of highly exclusive menswear, décor and service. It was bespoke luxury before the ’80s wave of extravagant ready-to-wear. Now, more than four decades later, the House of Bijan is re-upping its contemporary relevance with a plush new Beverly Hills boutique at 443 North Rodeo Drive.
More than double the size of the original landmark, the new structure is, as would be rightly expected, absolutely stunning. Coated in bold, trademark Bijan Yellow both inside and out, the design updates both the look and customer experience, while, at the same time, not doing away with four decades of Bijan’s signature style. Heritage elements from the former location, including the original entry door, the iconic Fernando Botero painting and, but of course, the Baccarat crystal chandelier with over 1,000 bottles of Bijan perfume were meticulously removed, transported and installed into the new retail space.
“After 44 years in the same location on Rodeo Drive,” explains Pakzad’s progeny Nicolas Bijan, “we wanted to remain true to our heritage and ensure our respected clients continue to feel at home in the new flagship boutique. We wanted to accomplish this while modernizing the overall look and feel of the boutique, as well as the overall brand.”
It was definitely successful. Upon entering the boutique, Roman “Bocca della Veritá” Mouth of Truth sculptures greet clients, acting as both art installation and product display (an especially welcome touch, since we won’t be traveling to Rome any time soon). Elsewhere, exclusive furnishings exude warmth and masculinity, including custom-made mahogany cabinetry, marble and onyx stone flooring, glass guardrails, and custom skylights. Look a little harder, and you just might find several rare works of art carefully placed around the space.
Of course, social distancing rules remain in force, especially as Los Angeles has seen a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases. But one can actually make a zeigeisty visit to the new House of Bijan HQ, by making a purchase from the new line of what are surely the most opulent face shields anywhere, also in their signature yellow—and brazenly logoed. Because what could be better than being safe and responsible, and doing it in style?