Byline: RACHEL BROWN
Bijan Pakzad, Rodeo Drive Pioneer
Bijan Pakzad, 71, an Iranian American who solidified Rodeo Drive's reputation as a luxury shopping destination with his exclusive showroom and built a brand that spanned clothing, fragrances and jewelry, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a severe stroke.
A skilled marketer whose toothy smile was a signature in his namesake brand's promotional imagery, Pakzad prided himself on serving rich people with the most impeccable tastes and dressed a long list of politicians, actors and businessmen, including Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Eisner, Steve Wynn and presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. He billed the House of Bijan location in Beverly Hills as "by appointment only," and touted its high prices as a selling point with the slogan "the most expensive in the world."
"I am not a mass designer," Pakzad told the Los Angeles Times in 2003. "What was important to me was not to have two million clients, like Versace, but to have 20,000 clients. They all have one thing in common. They appreciate quality, exclusivity and service. My clientele is very difficult and demanding. I work so hard, and so many hours."
Pakzad proffered different stories about his past to bolster the mythology of his brand, but, by most accounts, he was...