Meet the Brand: Needles

Needles is a Japanese brand that draws inspiration from vintage Americana styling. The company's founder Keizo Shimizu began his career in fashion working for Nepenthes which included labels such as Engineered Garments, South2 West8 and his own label, Needles.

Needles collection hanging on rail

Shimizu began Needles in 1997 with just one piece, a loose-fitting suit jacket inspired by one worn by Miles Davis in the 1960s. Inspired by big American cultural movements including the works of actors, filmmakers, musicians and artists, Shimizu wanted to create authentic American styles using Japanese textiles.  

Needles has a distinct style that feels like vintage pieces reimagined with a modern sensibility. There is a desire to elevate Americana designs through considered Japanese craftsmanship and fabrics. Creating something that wasn’t readily accessible in Japan at the time. Shimizu wanted to create simplistic items with an added twist – these became instantly popular with Japanese audiences and would soon make their way across the globe.

Unlike other brands doing similar things, Needles feels that little more mature. Geared towards a more grown-up customer that are classic in look and feel. While they create a fun examination into intersections of Americana, the feel of the collection is that little more mature than what others are doing right now.

Needles Tracksuit Outfit

Needles is a brand that has continued to grow since the 90s. It has expanded all over the world delivering their unique vintage designs with Japanese craftsmanship. In the 2010s Needles would expand even further, creating two now iconic lines in Needles Sport and Rebuild by Needles.

In the Needles Sport line you’ll find the iconic Needles tracksuit. The inspiration for the sport collection drew from retro-inspired warm up and running attire. It creates an electric mix of elevated retro sportswear. The butterfly logo is synonymous with the tracksuit itself. Shimizu got inspiration for the logo from Steve McQueen’s tattoo in the film Papillon.

The Rebuild series by Needles was first introduced back in 2012 and is Shimizu’s take on upcycling – repurposing old garments to create something new and imaginative. Twists on classic wardrobe staples. Cuts of clothes are restitched together to create an entirely new garment, creating something that is between ‘clothing as art’ and a DIY masterpiece. Rebuild by Needles pieces often take on that grunge look especially the iconic 7-cut flannel shirts which use strips of clothing from seven different shirts. The Rebuild pieces are unique and handmade, each piece is different from the last.

Rebuild by Needles series

Needles is a brand that is both nostalgic and modern. It offers pieces that feel like they could have been worn by your favourite rock stars or baseball players of yesteryear but with a more modern sensibility. It is a fun experimentation of American meets Japanese craftmanship. Unique takes and vintage inspired looks, perfect for the more mature wearer.

At Copperfield we’re huge fans of this brand and love their seasonal looks and designs. For the latest arrivals from Needles click here.

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