Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fred Hayman & Bijan - A Blast from the Past

I am anxiously awaiting the release of the new Fred Hayman biography Fred Hayman The Extraordinary Difference. You might recall that Hayman was the impresario behind both the famous Rodeo Drive boutique Giorgio Beverly Hills as well as the infamous fragrance of the same name. Even if you never stepped foot in Hayman's store (and unfortunately, I never did), you have to be familiar with the perfume. There was a time there in the 1980s that Giorgio perfume was all anyone talked about. I remember that the fragrance was heavy. As heavy as those big earrings that Felicia Gallant used to wear. In fact, weren't there establishments which posted signs asking patrons not to wear Giorgio? I guess you either loved it or hated it. Of course, I was too young at the time to wear anything as mature as Giorgio (I believe that I had to settle on Anais Anais), so I don't know which camp I would have fallen in.

Thinking of Fred Hayman and Giorgio made me think of Bijan and his fragrance:

Bijan was omnipresent in his ads that were strewn throughout Vogue and Bazaar. He was always laughing (laughing all the way to bank?) while the doughnut shaped flaçon was usually prominently displayed. Like Hayman, Bijan was very much part of the Rodeo Drive scene of the 1980s and 90s. (He was also famous for his menswear.) What I didn't know until over the weekend is that poor Bijan passed away back in April. While visiting his website, I found photos of his home that give us a glimpse into Bijan's lifestyle. But the best part just might be the website's photos and video of the Bijan Edition Rolls-Royce Phantoms that were part of a recent collaboration between the late designer and the luxury automaker. A throwback to the 1980s? Perhaps. But you've got to admit, Bijan certainly knew how market himself- and this was long before the days of Twitter and Facebook!

The late Bijan at his front door. Love his Bijan dinner jacket and velvet slippers.

Bijan's stairwell. Are those framed Bijan ads? Well, really, why not.

Bijan's living room with more framed ads or photographs.

Another living room.

Bijan in his study.

The dining room.

His kitchen.

I suppose this is Bijan's bedroom?

And his bath?

A shot of his garden.

Bijan's cars including a Rolls-Royce in Bijan's signature shade of yellow that may or may not be a Bijan edition. I can't tell.

All Bijan photos courtesy of his website.


  1. I forgot all about Giorgio but I, too, wore Anais-Anais in 1984.

    Love the dining room but can't imagine having to dust all of those frames in study and other rooms.

  2. The flagship Bloomingdales store had some perfume spraying out in a mist over those who entered the Lexington Avenue doors in the 1980s. Maybe it was Estee Lauder's "Youth Dew"; I can still smell it in my mind! And they once had very aggressive demonstrators who spritzed passersby, but that practice was discontinued after complaints (and probably some lawsuits).

    The funny thing about the stores of Fred Hayman and Bijan is that they were more hype than sustance. Yes, they had expensive goods and (sometimes) fawning sales staff, but were not the uniquely artistic retail establishments that could stand up to some of the true legendary stores (in my opinion).

  3. Loved this post. Yes, I was a Giorgio wearer in the early 80s AND loved to visit their shop when in LA. There was something fabulous about that perfume. I remember smelling it from one of those samples in a magazine, and that was it--cult wearer for many years...even had a Giorgio beach towel and tote bag :)

  4. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Bijan's Fifth Avenue store was famous for, supposedly, only letting you in the front door if you had an appointment. The merchandise was ridiculously overpriced and never really top-of-the-line.

  5. I had a friend who worked on Fifth Avenue for Bijan from the first day to the last and he had stories that could curl your hair about the daily going on in that shop, with his clients and in his life.

    Hadn't thought about them for years. He definitely WORKED it!

  6. How could I ever forget "Giorgio"? I immediately went into severe asthma whenever I got into close proximity with the scent; so I had to avoid all of the cosmetic counters, my friends, church, etc. until the fad passed.
    And no one believed me when I said it was the perfume!!

  7. I remember him well and am surprised he passed and I read nothing about it. I lived in LA and did visit the store since it was THE store to go to! I love his yellow car - fabulous! thanks for the post...:)

  8. I think Bijan & George Hamilton both had the same tanning lotion!

    What I remember most about Bijan was his ad campaign that featured a fat woman. Not a "plus sized" model, but a *fat* woman named Bella. The ads would copy Botero paintings. She was gorgeous, and he was quite the character.

  9. I guess we can all agree that Bijan was quite the character!

  10. Anonymous2:29 AM

    Hi there! He was indeed quite the character! On Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills ; before the buses came and dropped off 100 foreign was a normal shopping street. I was in college when Ralph Lauren designed some wide ties that were featured in a shop there....they caught fire!

    that was his beginning! And what a launch! He refused from the beginning to compromise.....

    He deserves to be where he is because; in my opinion.....he refused to compromise....again and again.

    Bijan.....was hilarious to me. I went to Beverly Hills probably once a week. Bijan had a great big store front.....and windows full.....and a sign on the door.

    "By appointment only"

    Now that took something! I adored him.....I came in to his store when I pushed the door and it opened....he just laughed all the time....

    I did not of his death until tonight. This guy was so fun......from the depths of his, fun, fun.

    and before him on Rodeo was a guy named Jack.

    who owned JAX........the chicest store on Rodeo.

    He was amazing. Fabulous beyond!!!!!!!

    oh.....I love reminiscing about the "good old days"

    the "best days" are NOW!!!

    Go see "Midnight in Paris" You will be convinced!!!