Introduction: Brain Dead
Posted: May 01 2019
Kyle Ng, the founder and primary creative force behind Brain Dead is so meticulous about representing his esoteric brand that it might be best to let Brain dead introduce itself:
“ Brain Dead is a creative collective of artists and designers from around the world. With its disruptive, graphic-led approach, the brand takes its cues from post punk, underground comics, skateboarding, and the spirit of subculture as a whole.
Brain Dead is not one person, nor is it one idea. It sits in the space between people.”
If that left you with more questions than answers, you’re not alone… and if Brain Dead leaves you scratching your head well, that’s the way they like it.
Brain Dead take the ethos of the most democratic and accessible piece of fashion, the screen-printed graphic tee, and apply it to just about any garment or accessory one could think of. Parkas, hats, water bottles and even sweatpants are elevated by the addition of eye catching graphics that, despite coming from an assortment of artists, maintain an aesthetic continuity that gives Brain Dead a unique but accessible appeal.
A rich vocabulary of references to cult figures, phrases and images from “post punk, underground comics, skateboarding and… subculture” act like dog whistles audible to those in the know, leaving those who don’t with no choice but to act like they do. Aphex Twin, Disney, R. Crumb, for Brain Dead practically nothing is off limits and all of it blends together seamlessly.
While the look and presentation of Braindead’s entire apparel catalog has an explicitly art-centric bent, the desire to support art and artists doesn’t end at screen-printed tees and sweatpants. A book commemorating the ceramic artwork of California queer-punk luminary Seth Bogart and the small but diverse and compelling catalog of “Brain Dead Records” are concrete examples of where the brand’s priorities lie.
Fashion, music, fine and pop art, Brain Dead knows that the for those who function as both consumers and tastemakers every medium can be an avenue to the same vision. Over time this approach has earned the respect of consumers, massively influential artists and the some of the biggest brands in the world. Collaborations with Vans, Converse, Carhartt & APC have further legitimized Brain Dead, a colorful and authentic creative force in a scene that’s crowded with posers and imitators.