Crooks and Castles was started in 2002 to bring a different element into the streetwear realm and feature all types of clothing, from tops and dresses to pants and outerwear. The founders, Dennis Calvero and Robert Panlilio, wanted a lifestyle brand that would reflect their own interests: "We've been around for a while just playing in the background, but now we're starting to shine." Crooks and Castles has always rooted for the villain, whether it be in a movie, a comic book, a novel, a rap song, or everyday life. Growing up in Los Angeles during the '80s and '90s, the owners became a part of this villainous lifestyle. What caught the founders' attention in the mid '90s were independent fashion/graphic brands, which influenced the creation of Crooks and Castles.