House of Bijan Does Custom Aston Martins. Here’s How to Get One.
We spoke with Nicolas Bijan about his cars, and why more men should embrace the color yellow
“My father and I bonded over cars,” says Nicolas Bijan of his paterfamilias, the late Bijan Pakzad. They would go for Sunday drives around Beverly Hills and Los Angeles proper. “I learned to drive with him and I have many of his cars, as well as some of my own.”
He has the famous Bugatti Veyron and a Rolls-Royce Phantom. When he’s not collecting cars, Nicolas helms House of Bijan, the bespoke tailor and Beverly Hills institution known for bold color schemes that embody the township’s sense of luxury (among other things).
A few years ago, House of Bijan started running collaborations with luxury carmakers. They did the aforementioned Bugatti and Rolls-Royce, both of which sometimes park out front of the boutique. Taking their place these days is a new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, done in sharp yellow with the parking meter painted to match. Only in Beverly Hills, right?
Unlike previous collaborations with Aston Martin, this one is unlimited. However, each is one of one and handmade to the buyer’s specifications, and intended to be a daily driver.
We recently dialed Bijan to ask how a prospective buyer might be able to get their hands on one.
InsideHook: How did this collaboration come about?
Nicolas Bijan: About two and a half years ago, I had the chance to meet with Aston Martin and their head designer, Mr. Marek Reichman, at the Pebble Beach car show. They expressed some interest in doing a similar cooperation with Bijan as we’ve done in the past with other companies. And the more we started talking about it, the more we saw that our two companies had a lot in common in terms of trying to reach some of our younger generation clients from all different parts of the world.
What drew you to this specific Aston Martin?
The car has a very large front bonnet. It’s a clamshell bonnet where it opens outwards, not like a normal one that opens up. It has very aggressive lines. It’s more masculine while still being a very elegant sports car. We were able to take advantage of some of the lines within the bonnet and implement a tone-on-tone, very ghosted design into the bonnet. When you look at the hood, you see just a yellow hood. But when you look closer or you turn a little bit … you see there’s actually something within some elements of the hood that looks like a tone-on-tone ghosted paisley design. That is one of the design fingerprints and trademarks of our company. We are using it in many of our collections and in various designs. It’s something that we’ve attempted to do in the past on different materials and different projects, but I don’t think anybody’s ever pulled it off like the people at Aston Martin.
What’s the significance of yellow within House of Bijan?
Yellow was always my father’s favorite color. And it’s important to note that, because he loved all colors and we’re very famous for colors, which is something that’s unusual in menswear. You see a lot of blues, browns, grays, but never do you see lavender or yellow or bright red or orange. Pink is usually a no for menswear. But since day one, my father always loved color. He loved flowers and incorporating these colors into our displays and into our design, but still in a very masculine way. I think nobody does it better than us when it comes to using colors, because you have to be careful. It can go one of two ways. Yellow was always his favorite color and it was something that he became famous for. It’s a very happy color. He was a very happy person and a very passionate, big character. It’s part of our brand.
Can you speak a little about your fine leathers?
The car itself, of course, comes with beautiful leather hides. I think they’re sourcing them from all over Europe, but we wanted to take it a little bit further, and what we did was we introduced some details throughout the interior from ethically sourced alligator skins. So these are the most expensive leathers that you can buy on the market today. This is very soft skin, and each one has its own detailing and its own layout, and we’ll change the color combinations to match the outside. It’s just a little detailing throughout the interior — just like sometimes our jackets have this alligator detailing, whether it’s on the elbows, the back of the collar, the piping or the button holes. We introduced that into the interior of the car. It’s a very expensive proposition. For example, leather or fabrics that we use in our collections, or Aston Martin uses in their cars, are priced by the meter or by the yard. But these alligator leathers are priced per centimeter and sourced from ethical farms in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Walk us through the process of buying this car …
The car can be ordered from either a House of Bijan boutique or from an Aston Martin dealership. There’s a process of applying to purchase the car through a special program. Once that goes through the different channels (Aston Martin in England or Bijan Beverly Hills), we would meet with the client to discuss color combinations, what details they want, what fits their lifestyle, where they want to drive the car, when they want to take delivery, and really personalize it and give them a personalized experience. Once the car is under production, Aston Martin will invite them to visit the car while it’s being made in their factory. From the time that we place the order until the time it comes off the production line shouldn’t be more than six months, and it’s delivered wherever in the world they want.
Have there been any interesting details requested?
There was a car that we designed and showed to a client of ours from Mexico City, and on the side of the car was a small detail, and hand-painted was a flag of his country. So there are little things and details that make each one unique for each client. It’s something that we do in all of our designs, whether it’s the automobiles or cars or jewelry or whatever it may be. We always like to make things very personalized, very unique, very much to the owner’s specifications.