Cap Talk – What’s On Your Mind: Featuring Crooks & Castles

Can’t Stop The Crooks. The iconic Street Wear brand Crooks and Castles, founded in 2002 by Dennis Calvero and Robert Panlilio, has been going strong for over 10 years! It’s an amazing achievement in an industry where brands constantly struggle to survive and remain relevant. Crooks and Castles state that “they have always rooted for the villain” in all areas of life. Growing up in Los Angeles during the 80’s and 90′ with an abundance of gangs in the city, many had to “adapt to this environment.” Some used what they learned on the street to turn it into “something lucrative.” This was the inspiration behind the brand. “Crooks who got rich and stopped at nothing to get their Castle,” because “behind every castle lies a crook.”  One of Crooks’ strongpoints has always been their New Era collaborations, which have always been a favorite for fans of the brand, as well as cap collectors and enthusiasts. NecTalk recently briefly caught up with the Crooks and Castles fam to see what was on their mind. Check out what they had to say after the hit.

Crooks Fitted

Once you hit 10 years as a brand, what was the atmosphere like around the office?

Just another day in the office. Getting locked & loaded for another 10 years.

What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of Crooks & Castles?

Being able to survive with the family, the people we grew up with and to provide for them.

What would you attribute much of the success to date?

Always puttin’ in work in the streets. Always on that hustle and grind.

Where do you see streetwear heading?

To a crazy place. It’s become so repetitive over the years, copying the same High Fashion logos. Give it a year, then the true innovators will shine and it’ll be a battle between the real creative street wear companies. The true OG’s will be the last standing, including the Crooks.

What advice do you have for younger brands trying to make it in an such a competitive space?

Bring something different to the table, we’ve all seen the same designer wannabe shit lately, its over played. It’s about having a brand that has true street roots. Behind every great fortune, lies a Crooks.

The brands cap of choice – 59Fifty fitted or 9Fifty snapback? Why?

Definitely 59Fifty Fitted. We made our mark in the 90’s, we from the fitted era.

Crooks as a brand has released so many different caps. What are the brands personal favorites?

New Era Chain C 59Fifty Fitted. No doubt. Our Original trouble maker.

Any exciting collaborations coming up?

Here is something we did recently called Modern Cannibalism. The artwork was done by French Artist Mambo, whom we collaborated with. This is at our online warehouse which is stylized, the Crooks, on the outside. Always, stay tuned. You know how it is! Can’t Stop The Crooks!



  1. Great write up! Loved the advice and insight to the brand

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