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How this South Florida designer is making hats that tell a story

David Castro refers to his hats as crowns. And his crowns tell a story. The bright designs are inspired by African aesthetics, Hip Hop and pop culture.
LeAnneWerksPr
David Castro refers to his hats as crowns. And his crowns tell a story. The bright designs are inspired by African aesthetics, Hip Hop and pop culture.

Design has always been at the center of David Castro’s life. He grew up in West Palm Beach and studied architecture in college. But while he was learning to design buildings, he was also designing streetwear.

His tight college budget forced him to get creative, and he started making his own apparel.

That side hustle eventually became a full-time gig — even after graduating from Florida A&M University and working as an architect.

David eventually founded Dungeon Forward. It’s a hat company based in South Florida.

It’s common to see a professional athlete wearing Dungeon Forward or a college student rocking it around campus.

They’ve partnered with major companies from Paramount to dozens of historically Black colleges and universities around the country.

David refers to his hats as crowns that tell a story. The bright designs are inspired by African aesthetics, Hip Hop and pop culture. He said he makes crowns for the culture.

On the Aug. 2 episode of Sundial, Castro joined us to talk about what that means and growing up in South Florida.

On Sundial'sprevious episode, Gabrielle Calise joined us to talk about her illustrated book on Florida and her research on how to fight off sharks, hotdog girls and long-lost theme parks.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.
Helen Acevedo, a freelance producer, is a grad student at Florida International University studying Spanish-language journalism, a bilingual program focused on telling the stories of diverse communities.