Eli Russell Linnetz is the kind of creative figure that Grimes turns to for her pregnancy announcement photo; Kanye West for his videos and stage designs, and Lady Gaga for her Las Vegas residency.
He’s also the kind of guy who can show up at a fashion party wearing a wool overcoat with nothing underneath. “I think my date was naked as well,” he demurred, recalling her outfit that night was a completely see-through Helmut Lang shift.
The event in question was in 2017 at Dover Street Market in New York for Comme des Garçons’ release of Andy Warhol’s “You’re In” scent, for which he art directed a very yellow video, with Ronnie Cooke Newhouse overseeing creative direction.
A friendship blossomed with Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of DSM, which will reach a new zenith on Saturday with the debut of his new unisex fashion line ERL. It will be produced and distributed by DSM Paris, the wholly owned subsidiary of Comme des Garçons that recently launched a fashion line for DJ Honey Dijon and also will take on Mexico-based Liberal Youth Ministry. All three lines — plus Paccbet — will be displayed at CDG’s showroom at 6 Place Vendôme during men’s fashion week in the French capital.
Based in Venice Beach, Calif., and forever in shorts — or less — Linnetz is unapologetic that his personal style informs his fashion designs. “I really just made clothes I like to wear and now people can buy the lifestyle,” he said in an interview Thursday. “You’ll see the collection is minimalist and maximalist at the same time — happy and bright, but still revealing at times.”
Consider it “super California,” with some sun-faded colors “that feel like hand-me-downs,” Linnetz said.
Spanning T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, pants and tank tops — in sizes broad enough that all ages can wear it — the ERL range will be sold at all Dover Street Markets and wholesaled at select international retailers. Linnetz even conceived an ERL fragrance in tandem with the collection, which will be produced by Comme des Garçons.
Linnetz had tested the waters with a fashion line in 2018 when Dover Street Market launched its Los Angeles location. Joffe had initially asked Linnetz to design a shopping bag. He suggested adding a T-shirt, to which he added pants, jackets, a collaboration with Nike and graphics by famed artist Jordan Wolfson.
Across his photos, videos and stage designs, Linnetz is known for an eye-grabbing, provocative aesthetic, which is par for the course for someone who collaborates with a range of cutting-edge artists and personalities.
“I’m so exposed to keeping up with the times and being relevant and that’s found its way into my work,” he shrugged. “My natural disposition is now in my clothes.”
Linnetz has long been drawn to garments, funding his screenwriting degree at University of Southern California by working for the opera department and selling clothes.
He has substantial ambitions in fashion, hinting at imminent brand extensions and lauding Joffe’s ability to spot and nurture talents. “There’s no one else like Adrian. He’s so direct and gives you so much freedom and knows how to work with artists,” he enthused.
Asked if he’ll keep up side projects, he listed a few without naming names: He’s designing four stages for the next Coachella music festival, two upcoming tours, music videos and a TV show.