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14 LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes

LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes

Fashion

Among the eight finalists of this ninth edition is Eli Russell Linnetz, founder of the fashion label ERL that rewrites the American archetypes with a touch of nostalgia.

LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes

When and how did you start working in the music industry? 

I attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts where I received a B.F.A. in Screenwriting. To pay for my tuition, I applied for a job in the opera department’s costume shop. It was there here my passion for theatrics and costume design began to grow. After I graduated, I mainly worked writing screenplays – but soon felt my imagination was greater than sitting alone in a room by myself writing. I had more to express and began making short films. My work making short films soon led to directing my first music video – which happened to be for Kanye West. 

 

Your background is already quite impressive - video clips for Kanye West, scenography for Lady Gaga, production for Teyana Taylor and Kid Cudi or campaigns for Yeezy et Skim - what did you learn working with those artists? 

I learned about iconography – using narrative design to have impact – storytelling – how and when to break the rules – how to translate ideas into art into products. 

 

Eventually, you launched your own brand, how did this happen? Was it something you had in mind for a long time? 

Working on multiple stage tours with various artists reignited my interest in theatrical costume design. My work in the music industry led to many opportunities in the fashion world – translating my passion for storytelling into photography, fashion films, campaigns, and editorials. Eventually the world of fashion became of greater interest to me than the music industry. While directing a fragrance campaign for Comme des Garçons, I met Adrian Joffe. After sharing my greater fashion aspirations with Adrian, I soon partnered with him and Rei Kawakubo to start ERL. I presented my first full collection in 2020. 

LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes

What inspires you in your collections? 

Everything starts with a story. The clothing comes second. 

 

What is your first memory about fashion? 

Sketching costumes as a child. 

 

In your collection, you introduced some American archetypes that promote a kind of anonymity, where do they come from? What do you like about these archetypes and how do you feel connected to them? 

They are characters that come from within me and my imagination – they come from a place of honesty and truth. I think my desire for authenticity and truth has resonated with people. 

 

There is also something nostalgic - but in a good way - about your brand, that evokes youth and authenticity, with a kind of sociological approach. What clothes mean to you? 

The clothing helps tell my stories. 

 

How do you consider the future of your brand? 

ERL is ever growing and evolving as I myself grow and evolve. 

 

LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes LVMH PRIZE 2022 : ERL, the label that rewrites the American archetypes