Tables. Fingerboards. Chilli oil. T-shirts. You’d be forgiven for struggling to find a through-line for this eclectic grouping of objects, but these are just some of the things that have been released under the Brain Dead label in recent times. The LA-based collective has an extraordinarily wide-ranging output and simply releases whatever its two founders—Ed Davis and Kyle Ng—happen to be into at the time.

Prior to setting up Brain Dead, Davis was working as a studio-based graphic designer and Ng already had experience running two of his own brands, AXS Folk Technology and Farm Tactics. Although living in different continents, Ng was introduced to Davis’s design work via a bootleg Patagonia T-shirt made under the name of Rat Brain—a side project that involved Davis selling graphic T-shirts. After a cold email, a bit of cajolery and some bonding over comic book T-shirts, Ng convinced Davis to work on something together and Brain Dead was born in 2014.

Davis and Ng’s influences are so broad and the brand is so direct a manifestation of their own interests that Brain Dead is an ever-evolving entity. Interviews with the duo always feature a hodgepodge of references, be it hand-painted Ghanaian film posters or the packaging of Japanese military figurines. Such a patchwork of interests has undoubtedly helped in cultivating the brand’s individuality, which never fails to draw both curious individuals and companies alike.

Brain Dead also has a track record of leveraging the power of fashion collaborations for the greater good of society. Following on from the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Brain Dead released a T-Shirt with Dev Hynes that ended up raising half a million dollars for BLM and LGBTQ intiatives, and the brand has continued to support other causes since then. This exemplifies the bigger-picture thinking at the core of Brain Dead, as Davis and Ng primarily want their clothes to serve as gateways into other cultures and subcultures. With that in mind, the latest Brain Dead offering can be viewed at the link below:

Shop Brain Dead