Crowns for the culture
Black-owned streetwear brand Dungeon Forward has emerged as the go-to for essential statement ‘crowns’ that showcase the beauty, prestige and transcendence of our culture.
Founded in 2007 by architect David Castro, Dungeon Forward is a purveyor of innovative headwear designed with precision. Through headwear, the brand amplifies stories of triumph while infusing poetic inspiration into their crowns. The namesake is one of movement and progress constantly moving from the Dungeon Forward.
This year, the brand celebrated Black History Month with a limited-edition capsule called Black Artist Collective–a collaboration with four rising Black creatives pushing the culture forward through multidisciplinary art.
Each uniquely talented artist delivered four different looks for the Low-Top Sunika Kuraun that exemplify Black excellence and evolution.
• Chuck Styles is a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary artist who collabed with HBO, Starz, and Topps.
His crown is titled BeenSuper after his piece “Been Super Boy.” The design was created to remind people of their blind
confidence as a child as it is their true form.
• “X” (Xavier) Payne is an illustrator, painter, and designer who emphasizes color and storytelling to create
what he calls ‘Black Pop.’
His crown Afrikana examines what it is to be a hunter and gatherer–a cultural origin that transitions from
childhood to a warrior/explorer–with subliminal messages highlighting the things that directly influenced his youth.
• Melissa A. Mitchell is an Atlanta-based, Miami-born creative whose love of vibrant colors, unique shapes,
and bold, dark lines is visible throughout her work. Melissa has created over 500 original art pieces, including
40 larger-than-life murals, and been featured in Forbes, Vogue, and ESSENCE.
Her crown is titled Ikenna, which is Igbo for “my father’s power” – an ode to Melissa’s father who was, and still
is, one of her greatest influences since his passing.
• Nathan Delinois (Nate Dee) is a Miami-born Haitian-American who combines Hellenism, hyperrealism, and
Art Nouveau in his projects. He’s been featured in ABC, NBC, and NFL Network as an empowering artist with murals all over the world.
His crown is the Haring Ibon which represents a very personal friendship.
CEO and Chief Designer David Castro curated The Black Artist Collective because of a unique bond they all share
with him and the brand, bringing a long-standing ancestral practice of Umoja (“unity” in Swahili) to the
“We embrace the fact that we are a black-owned, thriving, creative business, and we want to breathe life into everything we touch. We connected with those we admired to create products that couldn’t exist without collaboration. There is beauty in the honesty of this collaboration, and we get to drop a new silhouette in the process Creatives move the world forward, and collaboration breeds growth.”
As an artist and architect, Castro employs authentic storytelling in all that he does, seen in the crown’s construction and design.
“It only made sense for us to create authentic products with our contemporaries that share a perspective on the world through the product. This capsule will captivate many, and the depth of the designs will inspire the culture for years to come.”