When ASAP Rocky requested Eli Russell Linnetz if he may go to the younger designer’s studio, Mr. Linnetz was considerably reluctant. His house is “very non-public,” he mentioned, tucked away in Venice Seashore, Calif., remoted from the style world.
However the New York rapper confirmed real curiosity within the label, ERL — and he was “the sweetest, most charismatic particular person,” Mr. Linnetz mentioned, which the designer discovered refreshing. He had spent just a few years within the music trade, directing music movies for Kanye West and creating units for Woman Gaga, earlier than leaving in order that he “may go and create one thing like genuine,” he mentioned. Now he’s thought-about one in all style’s subsequent large issues.
When it got here to the Met Gala, ASAP Rocky knew straight away that he wished to put on an enormous quilt from ERL’s spring 2022 assortment. Within the look e-book for that assortment, it’s worn by a girl like an enormous scarf, enveloping and forming a prepare round her.
“He was, like, ‘I need that,’” Mr. Linnetz mentioned.
For the Met Gala, Mr. Linnetz designed a customized model utilizing scraps of material and vintage quilts sewn again collectively, together with just a few private results, like his dad’s bathrobe. He commissioned a quilter in North Carolina, Zak Foster, who makes a speciality of reminiscence quilts — that’s, quilts produced from somebody’s outdated clothes, usually for households in mourning.
“I used to be intrigued by that idea, as one thing very American,” he mentioned. “I didn’t suppose a lot concerning the theme aside from that, simply because I really feel like every little thing I do is carefully associated to Americana.” Mr. Linnetz may have one in all his items, a recreation of an vintage baseball uniform, displayed within the Met exhibition.
Mr. Linnetz acknowledges the Met Gala as an enormous second for his small label, and talking on Zoom a couple of week earlier than the occasion, he was nonetheless engaged on being comfy with that.
“I dreamed about dressing somebody, however I used to be type of torn,” he mentioned. “I felt like perhaps it’s good to simply maintain your head down and work and focus and never get caught up in that. I created ERL to get away from all this music trade superstar type of stuff.”
A number of Met Gala visitors ended up asking to be dressed by ERL, Mr. Linnetz mentioned, however in the long run he wished to “deal with somebody that I really am like pals with, and consider in, and is only a good particular person.”