Insane x Kong

a cat head skull and cross bones

Kong is the Midlands streetwear brand and retailer founded by Garry Moloney, former drummer for the influential 80s punk band Discharge.

Moloney stresses the link between punk and skate and their influence on today’s UK streetwear culture. “The punk attitude and style and skate street culture that met in the 80s were a perfect fit in my opinion. They were both youth movements with something to shout about.

“A lot of the key brands today were founded during this time, such as Stüssy and Fuct, so you could say that the merging of these two cultures gave birth to the streetwear we know today. The Kong brand is basically a history of music from that era that is still as exciting today as it was back then – total respect to the bands and style that influenced us back then."

drawings and sketches of the cat head skull

Wells agrees, adding: “Skateboarding boomed at the same time as the punk explosion. Both evolved as side-lined DIY cultures, communicating through zines, DIY clothing, self-determining fringe events, often in shared spaces.”

Moloney adds: “After the Discharge days, it was time to start something new, something creative again and something independent. Skate culture was exciting and had a style that was a move on from the punk days. I found it interesting how skate street labels began to be introduced into the scene. Kong first bought into Insane more than 20 years ago. It was a cool British brand that sat perfectly next to Stüssy, Fuct, Freshjive and XLarge."

The Kong x Insane collaboration includes hoodies, sweats, t-shirts, and beanies featuring Wells’ unique take on Kong’s classic skull and cross bones – Sabotage Cat.

Says Wells: “When pooling ideas, we wanted to follow Kong’s graphic references to 80s punk imagery, but also something iconic and relatable. The famous Sabot-Cat icon, rooted in early 20th century equality struggles, fitted perfectly.”

The Kong x Insane collection is available in Kong stores in Coventry and Leamington Spa, and from from Friday July 9, 2021 at 8am BST

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