The Dutch brand flies the flag for an exquisitely elegant global lifestyle, with its furnishings setting the stage in thousands of hotels worldwide. Time to turn back the pages of a thirty-year-old success story.
The greatest success stories always seem to start in someone’s garage. Eichholtz is, indeed, no different, as the garage belonging to Theo Eichholtz’s parents is precisely where his first-ever container of merchandise was delivered. Having fallen head over heels for ancient colonial furnishings during his time in Indonesia, he shipped his haul of treasure back to the Netherlands, where he attempted to squeeze everything into his tiny storage space with help from a handful of friends. That was back in 1992. Fast forward thirty years, and Eichholtz now boasts a 35,000 m2 warehouse and a 4,000 m2 showroom in Noordwijkerhout near Amsterdam. The brand’s initial best sellers, such as Chinese wedding cabinets and Indian dual panel mirrors, are now no more than a distant memory, but the desire to be different and the talent for anticipating tomorrow’s “new classics” remains as strong as ever. As the years rolled by, Eichholtz grew weary of being copied, and decided to start having his own designs produced in Asia. That eventually led to him setting up his own design office, which ultimately put together an ultra-luxurious lifestyle range for the brand, featuring furniture, accessories, lighting and outdoor furnishings. “Our catalogue currently boasts 3,500 references,” explains Artistic Director Edwin van der Gun. “We add 600 new designs each season, and some of our flagship creations have featured in the catalogue for a decade.”
The Eichholtz style? Elegant, timeless glamour with a hint of northern European sobriety. White dominates the sofas and lounge chairs, with exceptionally soft bouclé fabric hugging each immaculate curve. The tables, crafted from dark-hued wood, sit in perfect harmony with the matte golden metal and alabaster lights. In Eichholtz’s vast showroom, the brand’s elegant take on lifestyle fills some forty rooms that overflow with everything anyone could possibly need to create a dreamy interior: mirrors, bathroom and fireplace accessories, headboards, rugs, bars and screens furnish lounges, bedrooms and dining rooms that are adorned with bouquets of orchids. “My sources of inspiration are very eclectic,” explains van der Gun. “I can be inspired by the fashion pages of Vogue or Vanity Fair. I love the Art Deco period, modernism and 1970s Italian glamour. Our clients will find all these familiar references in our collections.” On the heels of the pandemic, luxury has become like an even warmer and more comforting hug: “people have embraced staying at home, setting up comfortable home office spaces and even their own spas.”
When Eichholtz heads to the French capital to exhibit at Maison&Objet Paris, the team also spends some time out and about in the city. “We check out all the new hotels and restaurants, and visit the flea market and antique dealers,” explains the artistic director. “The time we spend at the trade fair is really important for us. We initially started out with a stand that covered around one hundred square metres, and this year we have booked a 1,300 m2 stand... This is where we meet our most prestigious clients. It was right here that we first engaged with Bloomingdale’s and Harrods. Today, we have a foothold in 80 countries.” Eichholtz is a B2B brand that deals exclusively with retailers, architects and stylists. This year marks a pivotal moment in the brand’s thirty-year history, as it is set to open two self-owned flagship stores, one in Miami and the other in Amsterdam. It is otherwise retailed in multi-brand or mono-brand stores, such as those in Dubai, London, Moscow, Jakarta, Sydney and, very soon, Monaco. As well as its Noordwijkerhout showroom, Eichholtz also has a platform in the USA, and a second is soon to open in Asia. 95% of its references are in stock, giving clients the guarantee of being delivered within days and with the lowest possible carbon footprint. A substantial portion of the firm’s production has now been moved to Europe. Despite having sold his business to investors, Théo Eichholtz nonetheless continues to keep a watchful eye on the firm. And it’s an eye that unquestionably has a talent for homing in on tomorrow’s best sellers.
By Caroline Tossan
Illustration ©Sarah Bouillaud