Elias Rumelis is a familiar face in the fashion business. He has been working in the industry for over 25 years, and has lived abroad in between, for example in China for a few years.
In 2015, he started his very own label, ER Denim, which now goes by the name of ER Elias Rumelis and is carried by about 450 customers across Europe with its fashionable-clean casual looks.
"Until now, I kind of always tried to incorporate certain style elements and looks that were important to me into ER. But that just didn't always fit or then didn't 100% match the statement of ER. Now, with the two separate brands, there is a clean separation and I don't have to bend,” he says.
While ER focuses on more commercial menswear and womenswear outfits, Eli is about high-end streetwear, also for men and women, but overall with more menswear and with a unisex approach, tending to the younger target group of Millennials. Rumelis is already sitting at the source: his two 18-year-old sons Ben and Noah, the “Rumelis Twins,” are just about to take off in the music business as an r&b act–and are therefore the perfect testimonials (and inspiration) for Eli.
The result are casual yet thoroughly designed jersey tops and bottoms, denim, a bit of outerwear, a bit of leather, all matchable with each other, and all the while infused with lots of details like patches, prints, patch pockets, darts and piping.
Manageable, with a total of about 80 pieces, 30% of which should be denim. The prices correspond to those of a premium streetwear label: T-shirts retail between €150 and €180, denim pieces will cost up to €450.
For example, Rumelis travels every two weeks to Turkey, where everything is manufactured, and pays attention to humane working conditions; he has been working with the same companies for years.
He says that his company came through the crisis well, and many existing customers remain loyal to him with ER. Some of these could also be considered as points of sale for Eli, whereby sales are to be very selective; the focus is on premium shops, concept stores and high-end department stores.
Outside Europe with the core DACH markets Rumelis also sees the USA as an interesting market: in August/September, a pop-up store is to open in Los Angeles’ trendy West Hollywood district together with a partner.
Own stores are conceivable, but it is currently too early for that, says Rumelis. And the company's own web store is not intended to cannibalize the wholesale business: "The customers come first. After all, they are the ones who made me great." Sustainability also applies when it comes to intensive and long-lasting business relationships.