He brought Armani, Gucci and Versace to Germany: Albert Eickhoff was considered one of the most influential fashion entrepreneurs in Europe. He has already died at the age of 86.
dpa / Horst Ossinger
Fashion entrepreneur Albert Eickhoff died a few days before his 87th birthday. Son-in-law Stefan Asbrand-Eickhoff told the German Press Agency that he fell asleep on Thursday evening with his family at his home in Meerbusch near Düsseldorf. “He lived his life. He had a wonderful life.” His father-in-law said some time ago that he would like it to end now, Asbrand-Eickhoff said.
In an interview with Bild newspaper, designer Wolfgang Joop said of Albert Eickhoff: “It was his pioneering act to bring great fashion from Italy and France to the German provinces. In doing so, he encouraged us as creative people and showed us as designers that how to sell ourselves. Today’s meaning of luxury started with him. I’m so sad. The banks are slowly emptying.”
Eickhoff was considered a pioneer in the German fashion landscape. With his wife he discovered many designers for Germany. He introduced Armani and was one of the first buyers of Tom Ford’s Gucci collections. In the 1970s he even lured the Italian designer Gianni Versace (1946-1997) to his sofa in his hometown of Lippstadt in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Eickhoff: “See all the collections in the world just on hangers”
Even if the retailer was unknown to many outside the industry during his lifetime, he was hailed as the doyen of German fashion in Paris and Milan. It is not the appearance that is decisive for him, but the clothing itself, Eickhoff once told dpa: “I look at all the collections in the world only on hangers.” “Rudolf Moshammer-style high-waisted jacket with colorful ties.”
In 1961 he opened the Eickhoff fashion salon with his wife Brigitte in Lippstadt – his first boutique. 20 years later he moved the headquarters of the company, which had meanwhile grown into a fashion house, to Düsseldorf’s luxurious Kö shopping street. He later handed over the day-to-day business to his daughter Susanne Asbrand-Eickhoff and son-in-law Stefan. The traditional house closed at the end of 2013. “We stop at the peak,” Eickhoff told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung at the time.