Rich Berrios: Bringing LL Cool J’s DNA to Life with Apparel
Rich Berrios UHHM donor Todd Smith LL Cool J creative design
Rich Berrios Designer, Creative Director, UHHM Donor - The designer donated the catalogue and apparel from his Todd Smith line to the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Rich Berrios: Bringing LL Cool J’s DNA to Life with Apparel

What’s Important About These Items

Approached, circa 2007, by a company with an offer to create a clothing line for a prominent musician, Rich Berrios had no idea he was being hired to design for LL Cool J, whose born name is Todd Smith. Rich traveled around the world to find graphic artists, fabric houses, trim makers, and garment factories to provide the tangible items he needed to design for an icon. He dedicated to design products as unique as LL Cool J not only for the Hip Hop community, but for the world.

Todd Smith The L Jean Jeans Rich Berrios LL Cool J UHHM
Todd Smith “The ‘L’ Jean” Jeans
Comprised of 11 oz. cross hatch denim with multiple blast and worn treatments, these jeans have a metallic inner logo inside the waistband, logoed rivets, shanks, and contrast stitching to match, and are enhanced by a Swarovski back pocket “L” treatment and front pocket.
Todd Smith Semper Fi Cross Jeans Rich Berrios LL Cool J UHHM
Todd Smith Semper Fi Cross JeansThese jeans are made of Egyptian laminated denim. Their embellishments include logo rivets and shanks, a gold embroidered inner logo waistband, rosary inner printed pocketing, contrast gold stitching, embellished outer waist patch, and decorated leather cross pocket patches with studded trim.

Why Rich Donated These Items to the UHHM

Todd Smith, the apparel line, presents what is possible when aspirations meet design, when skilled artists collaborate, and how Hip Hop entertainers touch people’s lives beyond their beats, rhymes, and movements. Rich Berrio’s creative direction demonstrates the impact of LL Cool J in visible ways.

Urban Militant Hoodie Todd Smith Collection Rich Berrios LL Cool J UHHM
Urban Militant Hoodie

Shown from its back, there is nothing like this hoodie, made of a fleece that has been caustic washed to give that classic worn look. Embellished with flat metallic studs and jems, metallic printing, a logo zipper pull, and iconic sleeve decorations, it includes full back Jems, stud art, and Inner velour tape trim.

Iconic Hoodie Todd Smith Collection Rich Berrios LL Cool J UHHM
Iconic Hoodie

This bestseller at Macy’s West is made of 100% slubbed rib cotton, with multiple embellishments such as Swarovski crystals, embroideries, printing, satin rope draw strings, inner velour tape trim, skull themed art and logoed pocket studs. All that, and it includes an inner cell phone pocket.

Todd Smith Catalogue Line Sheet Rich Berrios LL Cool J UHHM
Todd Smith Catalogue / “Line Sheet”

In Rich’s Words

“I immersed completely in the essence and DNA of Todd, and researched in-depth who he was to create a clothing line that embraced and presented his legacy, and the legacy of LL Cool J.” — Rich Berrios

Kate Harvie

Kate Harvie

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