In what will be a great loss for the luxury fashion industry, Iranian-origin American luxury menswear designer Bijan Pakzad died of a stroke on Saturday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. According to his family, he was 67, though records put him at 71. He was rushed to hospital following a stroke on Thursday, but did not recover.
Pakzad was one of the first to recognize the value of a personality in the industry. He appeared in his own ads, sort of a predecessor of the likes of Karl Lagerfeld. Born to an affluent family in Iran, Pakzad moved to the US in the 1970s, opening his appointment-only Rodeo Drive boutique in 1976. Fashion critic Booth Moore admitted that Pakzad’s Bevery Hills stores helped boost Rodeo Drive’s status as a world-class shopping destination. Never a mass designer, Pakzad concentrated on selling very costly menswear, jewelry and fragrances, even working the “costliest” tag into his advertisements.
His designer clothing was expensive. He sold suits that cost $6,500, ostrich vests that were priced at $19,000, managing sales of over $70 million per year. He even had clients who spent as much as $800,000 on a visit. Pakzad’s clients included some of the most important men in the world. He has dressed several US presidents, including Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Also on his client list were royalty like King Juan Carlos of Spain and businessman Michael Eisner.
A private service will be held this week. A public service in remembrance of Pakzad is also likely.
Via: LA Times