Robert Eickmeyer, a former store designer at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., who developed and opened the first freestanding Clinique store outside the U.S., died Monday of Leukemia in Louisville, Ky. He was 80.

This story first appeared in the March 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Eickmeyer, a graduate of Washington University, began his career with Lauder in 1968 as a freelance store designer, before coming in house 11 years later as the director of store design for Clinique. In 1984, Eickmeyer was named vice president of store design for Clinique Worldwide, and in 1987, was appointed vice president of international store design, where he oversaw store planning for Lauder’s rapidly expanding business overseas. In 1994, Eickmeyer was promoted to senior vice president of store design for Clinique International. He managed the opening of new markets in Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia before retiring in 1999.

“Bob Eickmeyer was a genius. He was one of the most important creators behind Clinique’s in-store presence and was responsible for making the Clinique “look” instantly recognizable around the world,” said Estée Lauder Cos. chairman Leonard Lauder. “It is thanks to him that Clinique has the global presence it does, and he left us a strong heritage upon which we continue to build.”

Eickmeyer conceived and implemented the first functional Clinique counters — complete with sit-down consultation areas and private lab rooms — in U.S. department stores and later designed the first international freestanding Clinique store in Budapest.

In a letter to Estée Lauder employees, Leonard and William P. Lauder wrote, “His colleagues remember him as being a man of striking intelligence and good taste, a broad creative talent whose incredible store designs were matched by his sparkling wit and drive for excellence.”

Eickmeyer is survived by his nieces, Carol, Ellen and Barbara; sister-in-law Ann, and his grandnieces, July and Emily.

No memorial service was held. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to the attention of Kristen Tidwell.

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