This Designer Took a Cease & Desist Letter & Turned It into a Hoodie

Mateo Berry, the creative mind behind Reserved Essential, has a closet overflowing with streetwear. Los Angeles.

By: Jodi Taylor
Styling: Jodi Taylor

We’ve had our eye on Mateo Berry for quite some time now. If you’re into streetwear and you spend ungodly amounts of time on Instagram like us, you too have seen his name—along with his brand’s yellow and checkered markings. Berry is the brains behind the brand Reserved Essential, the same brand that the likes of Future, Young Thug and Rich the Kid have been sporting. But Berry is by no means new to the industry—he’s been around for quite some time, first designing his own BMX shirts, then starting a small collective making t-shirts and throwing parties. From there he started an apparel line with a friend called DYNT until he finally went solo with Reserved Essential.

When we walked into Berry’s apartment in Studio City, California, a few weeks back, it was clear that the place was a direct extension of his brand’s aestheticyellow, or what Berry coined Reserved Gold. Right as we walked in we were met with a huge neon yellow, upside-down Playboy bunny logo sign, with the word “Banned” across it (he actually received a cease-and-desist letter from Playboy once—more on that later), that hung in the living room. But the pops of yellow didn’t stop there: yellow Kaws BearBrick with the word “STAFF” emblazoned across the chests perched above the TV; as we climbed the stairs to his home office, Reserved Essential disposable cameras were pinned to a board (which Berry gave away at this year’s Coachella); a branded yellow film chair nestled beneath, and a skate deck hung in the bathroom.

As for Berry himself? He made us feel right at home in his space and had unlimited stories to share—like that one time he found himself backstage photographing Rick Rubin and Kanye. NBD. But let’s not forget about Berry’s sidekick, his adorable Frenchie puppy named Chanel (she even has her own Instagram). We took every chance we could get, between hanging Off-White jeans on the fireplace and balancing Nike Air Max 97 OG sneakers on bookshelves, to play with her. Once everything was in place and photographed—as in, there were Nike Cortez sneakers on a lamp, Balenciaga shoes on the fireplace, and Supreme hats on the Brickbears—we sat down with Berry to talk about his new collection, the story behind Playboy’s cease-and-desist letter, and how skateboarding saved his life.

Click through the below gallery to read the stories for yourself.