ERL by Eli Russell Linnetz Shows Streetwear With A Fresh Take

Eli Russell Linnetz in his many roles from set designer, to photographer and founder of ERL – we discuss the rise of ERL Menswear:

Eli Russell Linnetz
Eli Russell Linnetz – official portrait for ERL x DIOR collection courtesy ©DIOR

Eli Russell Linnetz the creative director of ERL wore many hats throughout his career, and still does. He’s known for his collaboration in the music world with the likes of Lady Gaga and Ye. In addition to his coveted collab with Dior Homme’s creative director Kim Jones on the resort collection presented in May 2022, reflecting the California’s Venice beach sentiment so close to the designer’s DNA. In fact the collection was purely announced as ERL x Dior Designed in Venice Beach, just as the designer’s brand.

Eli Russell Linnetz The Beginning

The journey to ERL is actually a long one, however Eli’s interest in the creative industry and fashion started in his teen years. Aged only 15, he already began the first steps in his fashion career working closely on Broadway as an assistant to the famed American Playwright David Mamet. Later on, Linnetz touched base with Kanye West who he met while working on one of the sets of Watch The Throne, the rapper’s collaboration with Jay-Z. Their creatives mixed together when Ye and Linnetz collaborated to create the iconic videos for tracks ”Fade” and ”Famous. This collaboration continued into Ye’s ”Saint Pablo” tour where the designer teamed up to create one of the most iconic images from the rapper’s career, the floating stage. This is where Linnet’z is on the cusp of venturing into streetwear, the designer has worked also on merch clothing design for the said tour.

Photography © Eli Russell Linnetz for GQ Spain

Eli Russell Linnetz And Celebrity Collaborations

The success of Ye collaborations continued opening doors for Linnetz, who soon after lined up a string of coveted celeb collabs. He has worked on campaigns for Yeezy and SKIMS with Teyana Taylor. While his work on the Saint Pablo tour caught the eye of Lady Gaga and her producers who invited Linnetz to work on Lady Gaga’s Enigma Tour stage design.

Eli is a full package, embodying the modern culture into his brand ERL but also his collaborations, covering multiple aspects throughout. The ERL menswear brand slowly started developing along his ongoing collaboration work. Amassing in silence legions of fans, giving a different approach to what streetwear by stirring away from the spotlight that Linnetz is often comfortable staying behind. At the same time Linnetz still works behind the lens, just like when he photographed the HBO’s Euphoria star Actor Jacob Elordi for the cover of GQ Magazine’s August edition. In role of the photographer Linnetz has teamed up with The Weekend for his significant cover story of Interview magazine. The striking shoot announced the music star publicly using his born name Abel Tesfaye.

The on stage collaborations with music star is still one of the hats Linnetz bounces, he has collaborated on dressing Bad Bunny at his latest tour. We are certain this string of music stage collabs is to shape ERL in the years to come.

Unisex Sunset Puffer Coat from ERL’s latest collection – photo courtesy of ©SVD

ERL The Brand in Its First Steps.

Quickly additional opportunities showed up for Linnetz, who went into working on graphic design projects at the famed CdG (Commes des Garcons) when Rei Kawakubo and Adrien Joffee asked the young creative to design a special collection for the famed Dover Street Market in London. A moment when ERL as a brand was officially born.

DIOR x ERL Spring 2023 collection photo ©Dior – see all the looks.

I almost feel like the Manchurian Candidate, like someone calls me every morning to say, ‘You will design today,’ and my brain turns off, and I’m almost hypnotized. Let’s do something where people are observing you so you’re not asking anything from them, and they can make their own decisions about you,” shared Eli Russell Linetz in his interview profile for New York Times with journalist Jessica Testa

The success of the line brought Eli to launch ERL officially, set up as a low key streetwear brand inspired by the lifestyle of California and Venice beach. Eli who stayed open to collaboration was soon after invited to collaborate with Kim Jones, on one of the most iconic resort collections for Dior Men presented in 2022. His hard work was recognized by the industry, Linnetz was 2022 LVMH Prize finalist, and he was awarded the LVMH’s Karl Lagerfeld prize especially for his work on ERL.

Eli Russell Linnetz
ERL Menswear 2024 stage designed by Eli Russell Linnetz in Firenze for the Pitti Uomo runway show.

ERL Menswear Spring Summer 2024 runway show presented in Firenze at Pitti Uomo

ERL Today

ERL menswear saw a new step in its growth, a first ever runway show. This catwalk event follows Eli’s flare for stage design, taking a statue of Liberty to Firenze Italy. For the occasion of  Pitti Imagine Uomo Linnetz was a guest designer who presented his Spring Summer 2023 menswear collection with a runway show.  The collection took place in Florence’s historic  Palazzo Corsini, merging the past with ERL menswear in a futuristic way, with Linnet’s idea to catapult the viewer and menswear itself 200 years from today.

Alessandra Huynh

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Taemin Park Models Juun.J Fall Winter 2023.24 Collection