Needles strikes a balance between originality and wearability by maintaining a firm grasp on its inspirations. Creative director and founder of Needles’ parent company, Nepenthes, Keizo Shimizu created the brand to embody an elevated, more mature version of casual American sportswear, making a concerted effort to produce clothing that was otherwise absent from the market. Though Needles is well known for its brash sensibility, at its core is everyday menswear created with care. Often taking design cues from the polyester decade, Needles features exaggerated proportions and unexpected details like gathered seams, wide cuts, rich, textured fabrics and saturated colors. Qualities that may feel like a step too far elsewhere feel right at home thanks to a dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail that has made Needles a mainstay in the menswear circuit for over three decades.
Its origin starts with the establishment of Nepenthes, the renowned distributor and parent company of cult brands like Engineered Garments and South2West8. What began in 1988 as a Tokyo-based import business built around US made goods, soon became a brand with its own in-house label, and thus is how Needles was born. As the bedrock of a company that has had a hand in shaping the menswear market, Needles has a historical significance that makes it a jewel in any offering.