interview by MARIE-PAULINE CESARI

Elias Becker is a director, actor, and photographer. In 2023, he launched @juntos.co, a sustainable shoe company that uses materials like alpaca, banana waste, and recycled materials. Additionally, Elias DJs soulful and deep house music at venues and festivals worldwide, and is planning his first showcase of his photography this year in a gallery, as well as two short film releases coming out in the fall.

Elias, for our readers who don’t know you yet, can you introduce yourself a little?
I’m 24 years old, was born in Munich and raised in Miami. I’m a filmmaker, actor, and entrepreneur based in New York City. My creative journey is deeply rooted in my family, my environment, and the arts. Living in New York for the past five years has helped me explore various creative endeavors and find inspiration in the dynamic city life. I’m surrounded by loving people who inspire me daily, and this support system is crucial to my growth. I’m driven by a desire to contribute something meaningful to the world. Whether it’s working on a film or developing a sustainable product, I strive to bring authenticity and passion to everything I do.

Can you tell us about your journey into the creative industry? Who are your biggest role models and when did you decide that you would live from your passions?

Ever since I was a young boy, I recall being surrounded by individuals who inspired me. My family, friends, and the music and films my mom introduced me to all significantly shaped my creative vision. Growing up, I was influenced by the soulful sounds of Motown, early R&B, and iconic movies from the early 2000s. Examples that come to mind are Denzel Washington in Training Day, the film A Prophet, and Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine. I remember being mesmerized by these characters on screen and the emotions they evoked. This era of music and film felt so genuine and soulful, igniting my passion for the arts. I never saw creativity as a hobby; it was always a potential career path. I saw the road ahead of me and felt my responsibility was to navigate it, whether walking, driving, or biking.

Tell us about Juntos.co. What inspired you to start this shoe brand, and how did your background in film and photography influence the brand’s aesthetic and mission?

As a kid, I loved collecting sneakers and connecting with nature. Documenting nature through photography and film made me feel responsible for creating a product that respects people and the environment. Juntos, which means ‘together’ in Spanish, embodies this idea. The brand focuses on sustainability and togetherness, using materials like alpaca wool, banana waste, and recycled resources. My background in film and photography has been instrumental in shaping the brand’s aesthetic. I believe in telling a story through our products, one that resonates with people and promotes a positive, sustainable lifestyle. South America, with its rich natural resources and vibrant culture, inspired me deeply. The Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountains, and the beautiful coastlines all contribute to the materials we use and the stories we tell. Juntos is about more than just shoes; it’s about bringing people together, celebrating our planet, and creating products that reflect these values.

full look WILLIE NORRIS for OUTLIER
bowtie Stylist’s Own

Sustainability is a key focus for Juntos.co. How do you see the fashion industry evolving in terms of sustainability, and what role do you hope your company will play in that transformation?
The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and sustainability is becoming increasingly important. While there’s a resurgence of vintage and repurposed clothing, we still face challenges due to fast fashion and micro-trends. Large corporations pledge to improve, yet landfills like those in the Atacama Desert show how far we have to go. At Juntos, we aim to lead by example, creating stylish, high-quality products that are also sustainable. Our mission is to demonstrate that fashion can be both fashionable and environmentally friendly, with transparency in our materials and production. By doing so, we hope to inspire the industry to adopt more sustainable practices and rethink how fashion is produced and consumed.

coat & trousers EMPORIO ARMANI
boots DIESEL

You’re planning your first photography showcase this year. How does your experience in directing and acting shape your photographic work?
My photography is deeply influenced by my passion for colors and capturing moments that feel timeless. Directing and acting have taught me to pay attention to detail, composition, and the emotions behind each shot. I strive to capture images that convey a sense of freedom and movement—I want my photographs to feel alive. It’s about finding the right moment and color that tells a story on its own. I try not to spend too much time editing either; I prefer to capture the perfect moment on-camera, which is why I only shoot on film. This upcoming showcase is an opportunity to share the world as I see it and the vibrant colors that surround us.

You’re also DJing. How would you describe your style?
My DJing style is a blend of the music I grew up with, including R&B, bossa nova, Latin music, hip-hop, and old-school house. I like to mix familiar sounds with new, unexpected twists to create unique experiences for the dancers. Mount Kimbie and Overmono, to name a few, are artists who create music that feels both familiar and fresh, and I admire that. My goal as a DJ is to tell a story, guide people through a range of emotions, and leave them feeling rejuvenated and uplifted.

full look & shoes PETER DO

You’ve walked for major brands like Vetements. How was the experience of modeling for such a prominent fashion house, and what did you take away from it?
Walking for Vetements was a full-circle moment for me. I’ve admired their work since high school, and being part of their runway show was a dream come true. Modeling allows me to explore different facets of myself, almost like stepping into a new character. Vetements is known for breaking the mold of traditional fashion, and their designs have always inspired me. Working with them was an opportunity to be part of something groundbreaking and to collaborate with incredibly talented people like Pat McGrath, who did the makeup for the show.

What are your long-term goals and other projects you are excited about?
My long-term goals revolve around maintaining a fulfilling, balanced life surrounded by my loved ones and pursuing my passions. I aim to continue creating meaningful art and growing my brands. Overall, I want to adapt to new challenges with confidence and trust my gut—I’m very eager to see where it continues to take me.

TEAM CREDITS:
talent ELIAS BECKER
photographer JORDAN OWEN
stylist NICK CENTOFANTI
hair LEVI MONARCH
makeup ERICA JANS
styling assistant GRIFFIN DRAKE
1st assistant/tech ISAAC SCHELL
photography/Set assistant ANTON LOUIS
set designer SASHA VERYKOVA
motion NICK KOROMPILAS
editor-in-chief TIMI LETONJA
interview MARIE-PAULINE CESARI