Founded in 1988 as part of designer Keizo Shimizu’s parent company Nepenthes, Needles was initially created to support imported items in the shop and was born after a trademark dispute when Shimizu ceased HOGGS - its initial in-house line. Shimizu was first introduced to fashion by his parents during a back-to-school shopping trip in Shinjuku but it wasn’t until the founder flipped through the pages of a ”Made in U.S.A“ catalog that he became obsessed with all-things Americana. The way American students wore their clothes looked so free and it made me think that there wouldn’t be any rules to be cool, as mentioned in his ’Story of My Life’ interview in 2015. Not only did Shimizu launch the Nepenthes office in Boston, Massachusetts but he also opened the bricks-and-mortar shop in Aoyama, Tokyo in 1989 as well. He later moved from Boston to NYC in 1996.
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