MAKING WAVES: Eli Russell Linnetz’s big year rolls on: On Thursday, he debuted his first two ERL shops-in-shop. Both are in Japan and boast impressive blue Perspex fixtures that bring to mind waves — or a half-pipe.
The brand’s quirky California cool — Linnetz is based in Venice Beach — can now be discovered in a 915-square-foot setup at the Fujii Daimaru department store in Kyoto, and a 315-square-foot corner at Dover Street Market Ginza in Tokyo. Sloping rails allow Linnetz to display clothing for children at one end; for adults at the other.
“These spectacular designs symbolize the vision and creative talents of Eli,” enthused Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Dover Street Market and president of Comme des Garçons International, also letting slip that a third ERL shop will debut next month at Dover Street Market in Beijing, which is moving to a larger location near The Forbidden City.
ERL falls under the brand umbrella of Dover Street Market Paris, the wholly owned subsidiary of Comme des Garçons that nurtures a clutch of labels operating under various business arrangements. These also include Weinsanto, Vaquera, Paccbet, Youths in Balaclava, Liberal Youth Ministry and Honey F–-king Dijon.
“We are proud to accompany ERL on its ever-ascending path,” Joffe added.
To be sure, these are heady days for Linnetz, who won a Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize at the 2022 LVMH Prize for Young Designers last June, and teamed up with Kim Jones on Dior menswear’s resort collection, paraded in his hometown in May.
He launched his ERL brand, initially focused on menswear, for the fall 2020 season.
“For me, ERL is about color, texture, and happiness, and I wanted to keep the designs of the spaces minimal so all focus remains on the collections, which tell so many stories about California and where I’m from,” Linnetz said about the new shops-in-shop.
He noted that each space “will constantly be changing, possibly multiple times a week” so people will get fully immersed — “even lost,” he offered — in his Venice Beach vibe.