It was announced during a press conference today by Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh that the items seized from the properties in Putrajaya Pavilion Residences and Jalan Langgak Duta, which included cash in 26 currencies, 12,000 pieces of jewellery, 284 handbags, 423 watches and 234 sunglasses, totalled RM 900 Mil to RM1.1 Bil. And among the Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Cartier, Rolex and Versace, Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor’s Hermès Birkin bags have received quite a number of attention. However, one brand that we should be talking about is actually the Bijan.
It was revealed that the Bijan bag was custom-made and not available on the market. The bag was among 567 handbags from 37 brands seized. Although Amar Singh did not state the bag’s value, we can pretty much speculate that it comes with a hefty price tag. Here is what you should know about the brand.
What is the Bijan?
Since its opening in 1976, the House of Bijan has produced some of the finest and most expensive clothing, shoes, fragrances and accessories in the world, counting Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Pierce Brosnan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Hefner and Monaco’s Prince Rainier among its star-studded client list. Its store stands boldly in eye-popping canary yellow, with a USD 2 Mil Bugatti Veyron parked outside as a street advertisement and a multi-million-dollar museum piece Fernando Botero painting hanging on the wall inside.
Where is the store located?
Los Angeles, which is one of the many prestigious venues Rosmah was known to shop at. Neighbours on the exclusive shopping strip of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills include Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Vera Wang and Bulgari. However, all of them are pale in comparison with the unabashed flair of Bijan. And it’s no surprise that most people don’t even get through the front door (it’s by appointment only).
Why is the store so expensive?
The fashion house deal in amazing fabrics here – cashmere, alligator and kangaroo leather are the standard materials here – and one of its signature touches is to design an entire wardrobe for a client, from jackets to shirts to shoes and ties, and have it waiting for them when they walk in. Yes, you read it right: the brand actually makes a closet for its clients. The store manager Manijeh Messa explained to HuffPost Australia that “we make a closet for them so that we can see what their clothing looks like. Then, we add some pieces to it.” She also continued informing that some of the brand’s clients it has had for over 40 years. “It’s our private collection area. The gentlemen are very close to us. They are good clients and good friends. Their children grow up with us.”
What’s amazing about the brand?
The wide stairs sweeping up to the private closets, the immense chandelier of more than 1000 perfume bottles, the silver plaque fastened to the Benjamina tree planted in the corner of the boutique (yes, there’s a tree planted in the corner of the boutique) are just a few highlights. One exclusive service that Bijan has is providing each valued client with their own little-labelled mailbox in the store, in which messages are sealed and sent out across the world if Bijan wants to tell them something.
The name of the game here is exclusivity. Bijan doesn’t do big runs of certain items, just a handful at the most. “Our ties are numbered, with a matching handkerchief. The maximum I have is two from one design,” Messa said. Sometimes they make a few, like when they made 10 special alligator bags for the wives of lucrative clients. The Bijan signature is a single decorative button at the bottom of a shirt or sleeve, different from the rest, a standout.
To get more information, watch this exclusive interview with the House of Bijan by Forbes Life: