The Bijan handbag continues to top the search on Google Malaysia after the brand was mentioned at a press conference on June 27 that revealed the luxury items seized from residences linked to former prime minister Datuk Najib Razak. The total cash and value of luxury items seized in the 1MDB probe came up to RM1.1 billion.
The Star reported that a “special order” bag from The House of Bijan comes from “the most expensive store” in the world. Keen observers were quick to point out that Bijan also spells out as N-A-J-I-B in reverse, prompting many to question if the brand was owned by the former prime minister himself.
Just how luxurious and expensive is a Bijan bag?
The House of Bijan was founded in 1976 by American-Iranian designer Bijan Pakzad, who opened a flagship store on Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Los Angeles. According to a report by Huffington Post, the house has dressed powerful men such as former US presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Charles, Pierce Brosnan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Hefner and Monaco's Prince Rainier. In fact, there is even a dressing room dedicated to the Bush family.
The price of the Bijan bags are steep, mostly because they are made from exotic crocodile skin or kangaroo hide. A lower end crocodile Bijan purse is said to cost about US$100,000, while ties are priced at US$1,000 or more each. The opulent retailer only caters to well-heeled customers “by appointment only", if you can't tell from the limited edition Rolls Royce parked outside the luxe boutique already.
After Pakzad’s death in 2011, The House of Bijan was sold for US$122 million to the parent company of Louis Vuitton, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2016. The handbag retailer continues to attract a legion of celebrity clients and high-profile personalities, which – until revealed recently – includes our former PM.