Those who say streetwear died years ago have no clue what the ladies from the scene have been cooking up over time. While the industry was being overrun by mundane repeats of styles mass produced everywhere, the ladies of streetwear were busy planning their next big move for a massive takeover. The influence of streetwear can clearly be seen in recent trends through the likes of blogs and editorials, but unlike the fickle nature of fashion, streetwear seems to have kept its identifiable quirk that easily sets it apart from the rest. Crooks and Castles Women’s is the perfect example of the ‘sleeping giant’ of streetwear, as they bust out this spring with fiery hot new styles just begging to be copped. The brand’s name itself is one that holds a great deal of weight within the apparel game, so it’s only right that their women’s counterpart is just as killer. Heading the women’s team is a talented bunch built up of DJs and artists who have had their eye on the game since day one. With music playing a huge role in their current collection (I.E. Baby girl, Aaliyah.), they take their passion for music and streetwear and put it all to good work (CLEARLY!). I had the awesome opportunity to interview the head women’s designer, Halle, who gives us the 4-1-1 on the latest collection, her top 5 songs on her playlist, and how she balances a career of designer/DJ/b0$$. Check out the interview now, and be sure to cop some of your favorite Crooks and Castles styles before they’re gone!

Who are you and what do you do?  

 I’m a motivated individual with a thirst for music and fashion. Currently the women’s designer at Crooks & Castles by day and club-rockin’ DJ by night so I guess you could call me a one-stop shop. Real name Halle, alias DJ Ivy.


So what’s your story? How exactly did you get into streetwear fashion?

I started out as a major in Fashion Design with high hopes of one day working for Triple 5 Soul because it was my favorite streetwear brand. I moved out to NY when I was 19 and worked my way into a job at the Triple 5 retail store in SOHO. Once I worked there for a few months, I landed an internship at the design office and then was hired as a freelance assistant designer shortly after. I completed the rest of my college required paid internships there until my last year and then I finally gave LA a try as a design assistant at Ecko Red. Since then I have designed for such streetwear companies such as Ripcurl, PNB Nation and now Crooks.


Tell me a little bit about how the “Crooks and Castles” women’s line came into play? What sparked the idea to launch a female only line?

Actually, there has always been a very small offering of gear for the ladies, however, more recently we decided to curate a solid collection including cut & sew and fashion-forward pieces instead of men’s graphics on basic bodies. I was tired of going into men’s streetwear stores and buying hoodies and flannels in a size small, plus the fits were never tailored to our bodies. l feel that there was a gap in the streetwear scene for ladies that needed to be filled and it just so happened to be perfect timing. 


Who is the “Crooks and Castles” girl?

The Crooks girl is somewhat fashionable and street smart. She is a streetwear fan and appreciates fun graphics and colors, while keeping her closet exclusive and classy. She can be androgynous yet remain sexy. She likes to borrow her boyfriend’s crew necks and beanies, but can rock the hell out of some high heels any night of the week!


If you could have one celebrity live in the new “Crooks and Castles” women’s line, who would it be?

Lana Del Rey


If you could use one music album to embody the new spring ’13 line, what would it be

Aaliyah’s “One in a Million”.


How do you think the women’s line differs from all other women’s street lines?

I think that all women’s streetwear lines in this day and age have their own recognizable style and personality, however, I like to think that the Crooks ladies line combines both men’s streetwear with contemporary fashion silhouettes and details. Since I have a background in the contemporary market as well, I continue to look to runway and fashion houses for my inspiration so I like to incorporate those elements into the collection and push the boundaries of traditional streetwear.   


Now about you – You are also a pretty rad DJ. How do you balance both careers, while killing it with both?

Aww shucks–thanks girl. Sometimes I have no idea how I manage both but I started both careers at the same time so I just keep it moving. Luckily, music and fashion go hand-in-hand and I am so fortunate to have such a strong network of friends and clients that continue to support both of my careers so it just adds to the success of both! I work Monday through Friday as a designer and DJ on the weekends and sometimes events and concerts straight from work. I barely sleep but I strive for greatness on the daily so it motivates me to continue doing the things that I love without looking back.


What are the first 5 songs on your playlist?

Currently, my top 5 records in rotation are:

1) Diplo – Butter’s Theme

2) The Weeknd Ft. Juicy J – One Of Those Nights

3) Rihanna – Pour It Up

4) Azealia Banks – 1991

5) Iggy Azalea – Work


What are your 5 favorite closet staples you could totally rock every day?

1) Cuban Link Gold Chain

2) Black New Era Dodger’s Fitted Hat

3) Japanese Vintage Cocoon Camo/Army Jacket

4) Ella Moss Black Knit Harem Pants

5) Alexander Wang Rocco Bag


How would you describe your personal style, and how does it reflect the line?

I love soft and comfy knit fabrications, bold graphics, hints of pop colors and easy-wear pieces that are comfortable yet sexy and I like to use those same principles when creating the women’s line as well. 

If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?

DJing of course!


So what do we have to look forward to for the Crooks and Castles women’s line this spring?

Soft and buttery knits, sheer woven fabrics, pastels and textures are a key part of the Spring collection. You will also see fun customized prints including luxury scarf patterns, painted florals, animal prints, camo, stars & stripes. Silhouettes include varsity jackets, leggings, tanks, tees, and our first ever sleeveless hoodies and tees. Get ready!