DUSSELDORF — The Eickhoffs have hit double gold this year: 50 years of Eickhoff, Düsseldorf’s leading fashion emporium, and 50 years of marriage for its founders, Albert and Brigitte Eickhoff.
This story first appeared in the May 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
All the more reason for the Eickhoffs’ closest fashion, society, art and media friends to celebrate, some 280 of whom were spirited off Saturday night to “The Mirror of Love” at the Raketenstation in Hombroich. The parade of gowns and tuxedos was clearly an unusual sight for some late hikers and visitors tarrying in the fields surrounding the Langen Foundation’s art exhibition house — a sprawling cement complex built by Japanese architect Tadao Ando on a former NATO missile base.
Three generations of the retail family stood to receive their well-wishers, who included Akris’ Albert and Peter Kriemler, Dior’s Celine Bench and Angela Benedetti, Eva Cavalli, Valentino’s Elena Ciceri and Daphne Cousineau, Veronica and Alessandro Etro, Dolce & Gabbana’s Giada Freda, Rena Lange’s Daniel Gunthert, Coty chairman Peter Harf, Balenciaga’s Axel Keller and Martin Rummel, Sergio and Luisa Loro Piana, Bruno Manetti, Maurizia and Vittorio Missoni, Jenny Packham, Adrian Runhof and Johnny Talbot and Strenesse’s Gerd and Gabriele Strehle.
Walking by works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Max Ernst and Kurt Schwitters, a ramp lead to the hall below where 10,000 peonies (flown in from Israel) topped two long tables running the room’s entire length. On the program between courses: Germany’s favorite retro crooner Max Raabe and his Palast Orchestra; film stars Iris Berben and Sebastian Koch reading from Dorothy Parker; actress and physician Dr. Maria Furtwängler-Burda, who accepted the $115,000 raised, in lieu of gifts, for the charity Doctors for the World, and a closing performance by the ballet of the German Opera on the Rhein.
As for the Eickhoffs, patriarch Albert may have officially handed the scepter to his daughter and son-in-law Susanne and Stefan Asbrand-Eickhoff. In turn, their children, Anna and Phillip-Alexandre, are both studying business in preparation for entering the family enterprise, which chalked up sales of about 33 million euros, or $47.8 million, last year in its 11,300-square-foot store.