Complete Guide to the Crooks & Castles Collection
By Emily Waterfield
, last updated May 24, 2011
Crooks and Castles is a street-wear brand that was established in 2002, out of Los Angeles, CA. The brand’s founders, Dennis Calvero and Robert Panlilio, launched Crooks and Castles with a vision to capture the L.A. street scene and highlight a “guns and wealth” aesthetic. The name Crooks and Castles comes from a saying that behind every castle, lays a crook, which the founders use as a metaphor for the fashion industry. “Castles” represents the goals and aspirations of the clothing line, while “Crooks” incorporates the darker edge of the brand, by standing for all of the criminals, thieves, and hustlers that made it big by becoming a crook.
In 2007, Crooks and Castles opened its first flagship store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The brand has since skyrocketed, and has been seen worn by hip-hop moguls such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nas, and Rick Ross.
Crooks and Castles offers a variety of stylish clothing and accessory options for fashion-forward men. These styles are definitely not for the meek. They are powerful, creative, and innovative designs, made for an equally dominant personality. Collections range from a large extension of outerwear and T-shirts, to hats, belts, shoes, watches, and hoodies. The original launching point of Crooks and Castles was its T-shirts, so the brand is dedicated to churning out a constant stream of crowd-pleasing shirts. The iconic prints featured on the t-shirts stay true to the label’s commitment to providing men with fresh, cutting-edge, and hip street-wear. Outerwear is also an important part of the Crooks and Castles label. The brand features unique styles, such as a spring weight M65 camouflage jacket, a Lambo jacket, which is designed to look like the leather interior of a Lamborghini, and tweed stadium jackets.
Crooks and Castles has recently grown to include such wardrobe staples as shorts and pants. The salvaged denim jeans and classic shorts balance out the shirts in the collection. Shoes and accessories are also a new avenue the label has ventured down. Like the pants and shorts, the sneakers incorporate clean lines and colors to act as wardrobe staples for men of varying styles. The watches and accessories are also classics that appeal to men of a multitude of ages and lifestyles.
The founders of Crooks and Castles have big hopes for the future of the brand. Already a popular line among the hip-hop and rap stars in Los Angeles, it seems as if Crooks and Castles is on the fast track to success. The designers are also collaborating with other big-time labels to create new products, such as a shoe with Creative Recreation, and a watch with a Hong-Kong based company called Knowledge.