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Eli Russell Linnetz, the hit California designer who didn’t want to design | Culture

Four days away from home is too many for Eli Russell Linnetz. “I’ve had enough. I like staying at home. I don’t like to travel,” he confesses. He laughs as he says it, but with a tone of exhaustion, collapsed in a chair as he finalizes his latest collection. Too bad he quit drinking coffee. He still has two grueling days ahead of him, one full of tailoring, fittings and interviews like this one, starting early in the morning; and another that will conclude at nightfall with the first show for his much-talked-about label, ERL. The initials of one of the latest fashion sensations, the abbreviation that sums up the status of the clothing business in the times of multiple screens: there is no rock and roll without noise.

One of the surfers who came from the beaches of Los Angeles for the show poses covered in sequins.
One of the surfers who came from the beaches of Los Angeles for the show poses covered in sequins. Astra Marina Cabras

The score of ERL is deafening. Punk with surf guitar riffs, California rap-trap, Broadway melodies, popcorn soundtracks and catchy pop choruses; on paper it seems like a cacophony, but when played it sounds like an undeniable hit, every note in the right place: the one that appeals to a generational tale, the one that stirs a feeling of belonging, the one that evokes a certain nostalgia, the one that connects with today’s consumption values, the one that makes the CEOs of the world of luxury vibrate. That is why its author is in Florence, as the guest star designer of the 104 Pitti Immagine Uomo fair. Being summoned by the largest global showcase of men’s prêt-à-porter (Raf Simons, Virgil Abloh, Rick Owens, Martin Margiela, Jun Takahashi and Telfar have been celebrated there) means that you are a success among the critics and the public. You’re above it all. “I’m so sure, like I’m always super confident in everything I make,” he says. Then he adds: “I don’t think really think about the money ever, you know. It’s like I always move into places I can’t afford, so I don’t feel any different when I don’t have money versus when I do so. But if there is money, I like spending it on my artwork.”

ERL has redefined the baggy silhouette with elastic metallic fabrics.
ERL has redefined the baggy silhouette with elastic metallic fabrics.
Astra Marina Cabras

Linnetz, who will turn 33 in November, is what used to be called a Renaissance man, that kind of restless being whose interests are linked by hyphens: filmmaker-photographer-music producer-graphic designer-fashion creator. There is more, probably. “I guess I feel connected to the tormented artists that lived here during the Renaissance, it feels really authentic,” he says, alluding to the difficulties caused by scarcity: “It’s hard to do with fewer resources, you know, with limited resources and to tell, you know, when you have an infinite imagination.” Facing the display of clothing and accessories guarded in one of the buildings of the Fortezza da Basso, headquarters of the Florentine show, it is clear how boundless his is. “I approach every collection like a movie. This one takes place in 100 years from now. The city’s underwater, [and] all the surfers from California have gone surfing in Florence,” he explains. “Then they sneak into a fancy party at the American ambassador’s villa, they all dress up with the husband’s clothes and pretend to be rich people,” the plot continues. Taffetas, metallic silks, cool wool embroidered with crystals, sequins, ­jacquard. It seems that this time the budget did not force him to go to thrift and charity stores. “Well, not too much,” he says.

Linnetz looks over the collection presented at Pitti Immagine Uomo, the largest men’s fashion fair in the world.
Linnetz looks over the collection presented at Pitti Immagine Uomo, the largest men’s fashion fair in the world. Adali Schell (The New York Times

That he used part of the financial help that Pitti offers its guests to fly the contingent of surfers who walked the runway for him at the Palazzo Corsini in mid-June from his native Venice Beach to the Tuscan capital, is not ruled out. Nor that this may have been his last show. “The first and last,” he says, laughing. “For me right now I’m just making clothes, but who knows for how long… I don’t like dressing people, actually. I don’t think about my friends or anyone in the real world; for me, it exists only in my fantasies. I have such a fantasy world in my head,” he adds. Linnetz, who studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California, sees his current occupation as an “accident.” It does not run in the family, that’s for sure: his dad is a lawyer, and his mom made him watch musicals when he was little. But she also taught him to sew with a machine, a skill that helped him pay for his career, working in the wardrobe department of his university. The rest, he solved with large doses of self-esteem. And guts.

The quilted anorak, another of ERL’s trademarks, in the form of a metallic silk comforter.
The quilted anorak, another of ERL’s trademarks, in the form of a metallic silk comforter. Vanni Bassetti

One thing to know about Eli Russell Linnetz is that he will stop at nothing. “I like to say I was on the wrestling team in high school. And the coach always used to say: ‘You can sleep when you die.’” At 14, he sent a fake resume to Marc Jacobs (“Never answered back”), at 15 he won a contest that made him an assistant to playwright and filmmaker David Mamet, and at 17 he caught the attention of Kanye West, with whom he unleashed his potential as a visual artist until 2016 (“I haven’t talked to him in years. So I don’t want to talk about. I left for reasons. Only he is crazy enough to give me my first opportunity,” he says about the controversial rapper). Then he worked as a photographer for Kim Kardashian­, Selena Gomez, Grimes and Lady Gaga, for whom he ended up creating a set design for her show at the MGM hotel in Las Vegas, Enigma, giant robot included.

Finally, in 2018, he emerged as a designer with his own brand. To make a long story short: one day he thought about requesting an audience with Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, the founder and creative director of the luxury advertising agency House + Holme, who, impressed by his charisma, took him to Paris to work on a perfume campaign for Comme des Garçons. There he met Adrian Joffe, president of the emporium founded around the cult firm of his wife, the phenomenal Rei Kawakubo, and without wasting a second, he asked her if she would let him make clothes. “Looking back, I was very bold.”

A model emulates the Statue of Liberty in Linnetz’s futuristic fantasy.
A model emulates the Statue of Liberty in Linnetz’s futuristic fantasy. Vanni Bassetti

Under the wing of the CdG talent incubator program and its commercial division, the Dover Street Market concept store chain (a launching pad for emerging creators whom it helps to produce and distribute their collections), ERL’s impact was almost immediate, especially thanks to its creator’s ability to strike a chord with the myth of the genuinely American youth subculture. In fact, some consider his work a genuine expression of dude culture and gregarious masculinity, despite the fluidity of his clothes and the apparent homoeroticism of the images in his catalogs. “I never thought about gender. I was just thinking about telling characters or stories. I like to be vague and move through different genres like in a postmodern Querentin Tarantino movie, referencing something from the past to make it new,” he reflects.

The first fashion show of the brand included its first line of sunglasses.
The first fashion show of the brand included its first line of sunglasses. Vanni Bassetti

If a label is required, make it that of California couture, a stylistic interpretation embodied by the monumental patchwork blanket that wrapped rapper A$AP Rocky at the 2019 Met Gala and which accentuated Dior Men’s spring/summer 2023 capsule collection, in which he intervened as a guest designer (not just a simple collaborator). “I don’t make any statements in my work, actually,” he points out. “I think it’s better not to say too much with art. For me, I’m just communicating what’s in my head and then letting people interpret it. And if they want to think of me like another asshole from America, it’s ok. I just like to do whatever I want.”

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

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