EIt’s a black Friday for German fashion. Literally, because Albert Eickhoff will be in Meerbusch this Friday Dusseldorf carried to the grave. He was one of the great fashion men who shaped this country from the 1970s with his sense of style. He died on November 10 at the age of 86.
It’s safe to say that this is a very fashionable Black Friday – the women are wearing fedoras and fascinators, under the pews of the Church St. Mauritius hanging bags from Chanel, Hermès, Dior.
Patricia Riekel, the former boss of the “Bunte” and longtime companion of Albert Eickhoff, is there and talks about the life that Albert Eickhoff staged “like a great opera”. The FDP people – with a connection to Düsseldorf and therefore naturally also to Albert Eickhoff – have also come, ie finance minister Christian Lindner and Marie-Agnes Strack- Zimmermann. Adrian Runhof, fashion designer at Talbot Runhof, is also there. He has known Albert Eickhoff for as long as he can remember, not just from Düsseldorf but from Lippstadt.
It began in the rented rooms of the Sparkasse
Albert Eickhoff’s parents were grocers there. The son learned merchandise knowledge in fashion houses and at the academy in Nagold and opened a fashion shop in Lippstadt with his girlfriend Brigitte, whom he had met shortly before at the Berlin fashion fair “Durchreise”. The wedding came after that. First it started in these two rented rooms of the local savings bank.
Gianni Versace presented his first show in 1978 at the Stadttheater Lippstadt, of all things, at Albert Eickhoff’s invitation. It was followed by the fashion of Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Giorgio Armani. And Adrian Runhof’s father also heard about this special business, so he packed the VW Beetle in Wiesbaden full of the clothes his mother had designed and drove off. Albert Eickhoff soon added their dresses to his range.
Three years later, Eickhoff moved to Düsseldorf. Back then, the city had big plans when it came to fashion. These were the best years for the Igedo trade fair. Like no other retailer, Albert Eickhoff shaped these golden times of German fashion, those of the Escada costumes, Jil Sander pantsuits and Rena Lange bow-tie blouses.
At the same time, he never lost sight of his Italian revenue generators or young talents, which included Talbot Runhof from the 1990s onwards. “His visit was one of the highlights of every order fair,” says Adrian Runhof this Friday. “Afterwards you could be angry, disappointed or fulfilled.” Because Albert Eickhoff gave advice. “Which of course we often didn’t follow. And when we were successful, he said: Did you listen to me? What he said carried a lot of weight.”
The Eickhoff family said goodbye to their fashion boutique in 2014. The business had become more complicated, space on the luxury miles was scarce and space for the large monobrand stores was all the more crucial. This Friday fashion says goodbye to Albert Eickhoff.