Saturday Apr 03, 2021
Vintage Statement Pieces With Needles Spring ‘21
At a young age, Keizo Shimizu was introduced to the world of fashion as his parents would allow him to shop for his back-to-school clothing. But his love for the art grew exponentially when he flipped through the catalog ‘Made in U.S.A’ and became inspired by Americana clothing. He loved how American students carried themselves and wore clothes freely. With this in mind, he decided to pursue a career in fashion and bring the western styles to Japan within familiar closet staples. So in 1988, Shimizu ventured to create his own company naming it Nepenthes. With this fashion label, he had the artistic freedom to create clothing that followed his distinct style and trends. He solidified his presence within the fashion scene in Tokyo and ended up traveling to the United States to establish more brick and mortars. He wanted this label to compete with popular brands including Ralph Lauren and L.L. Bean and provide something different to the typical cut and sew commonly seen. With time, he would continue to grow and in 1997 he experimented with different styles- landing on a sub-label known as ‘Needles.’
Needles was different in comparison to his mainline. Utilizing the familiar combination of American-Tokyo styles, Shimizu would divert from cut and sew apparel and try something new. This brand was unique and opened the doors to different styles as Shimizu wanted to create clothing never seen before. He takes inspiration from musicians and films and emulates their styles into statement fashion pieces. The flashy, vibrant, and unique designs helped the label grow as artists and celebrities feverishly anticipated his designs. Stars including Miles Davis and Steve McQueen would champion his designs making them even more popular than they already were. Needles would evolve with time eventually adding more unconventional aspects but sticking true to its Americana roots. Little touches of western culture and military wear would make their way within the collection for one-of-a-kind pieces. It was this eccentric outlook that helped Needles grow into its solidified persona it is today.
The latest spring collection reverts to signature styles while implementing new and bold features. The use of tie-dye is quite prevalent within the collection as many pieces of apparel champion the groovy design. The Tie Dye 5 Cuts Hoodie and L/S Tee are unique in stature as they highlight the brand’s cut and sew fabric. Uneven fabrics are sewn together making each strip different from the next. But the use of quality fabric and a color treatment offer s a comfortable and luxe sensation during times of wear. We also see this coloring within the Tie Dye Ribbon Shirt. It is common for the brand to use distressed and raw textures thus the buttons are met with a layered effect and worn-in finishes. The fashion label’s flannels grew in popularity as many rock stars would champion the designs on tour and in music videos and the newest colorways emulate the same vibes.
In conjunction with the iconic flannels, we’re also introduced to academic wear as Needles highlights varying universities and teams within the United States. The College 7 Cuts L/S Tee’s take on bright colors which complement the overall design. Iowa State, Grand Canyon University, and Loyola Basketball are just some of the names seen within the tee’s line-up and because of the classic cut technique, each piece is made to look different. To pair with the tees, we see new variants of the signature Narrow Track Pant as they are introduced in new colorways and textures, like velvet. The athletic design of the pant is made with premium polyester and fits comfortably. Each pant takes on the signature butterfly motif and is designed with matching piped details upon the legs. The recent delivery from Needles fine-tunes the classic, making them eccentric and one of a kind. Their tracksuits are one of the most iconic silhouettes as it highlights retro aesthetics with touches of Japanese culture and modern society.Needles Spring ‘21 collection is available now at all retail locations + online. To shop for the latest collection, click here.