Move aside, Birkin. The Bijan bag is now one of the most talked about handbags in Malaysia.
In a press conference on Wednesday, 27 June, police said that they identified a custom-made Bijan handbag among the luxury items seized from residences linked to former prime minister Datuk Najib Razak.
A report by Malay Mail alleged that police identified several Bijan bags among the collection of luxury bags. The report also quotes Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh saying that the bags were estimated to be worth RM1.6 million.
Seeing as the name Bijan spelled backwards is N-A-J-I-B, some Twitter users couldn't help but wonder if the brand is secretly owned by our former prime minister himself.
Bijan bags are known to come from the "most expensive store in the world", The House of Bijan
The House of Bijan was founded in 1976 by Iranian designer Bijan Pakzad, who set up his flagship store in Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Los Angeles.
The ultra-luxurious brand, which started as an exclusive men's clothing line, eventually branched out into selling men's perfume and women's handbags.
In addition, the brand also collaborated with designs on Bugatti Veyron and Rolls Royce cars.
The brand has become so well-renown that in 2010, the mayor of Beverly Hills declared 8 May as "Bijan Day" and presented the founder with a key to the City of Beverly Hills
The following year Bijan passed away from a stroke.
In his honour, the city installed commemorative plaques and a Bijan Yellow parking meter near the sidewalk where the Bijan Edition Rolls Royce or Bijan Edition Bugatti are frequently parked.
It's no wonder that the Bijan is especially recognised among upper class individuals, since they are most likely the only ones who can afford it
So, what makes a Bijan so special?
Bijan bags are said to be made from exotic crocodile skin or kangaroo hide.
To give you a rough idea on its prices, a low-level crocodile Bijan purse is said to cost about USD10,000 (RM40,318).
Likened to Hermes Birkin, Bijan also follows in its exclusivity and rarity. Most of their handbags are said to be custom-made, excluding the limited quantity sold in the boutique stores.
According to this Haute Living interview with Nicholas Bijan (founder's son), many items today are made in countries that are less expensive to manufacture, which affects the quality. Bijan emphasises that their focus on quality is what sets them apart from other brands.
How do you buy a Bijan?
One cannot simply walk into the store on a casual shopping spree. In fact, you won't be able to enter unless you've made an appointment.
It has been said that one of Bijan's "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."
It is also believed that the average amount spent by a single customer is a whopping USD100,000 (RM403,000)!
Previously, the Birkin handbag was the talk of the town when several were discovered in Rosmah's stash. Here's the story behind the bag: