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Needle's founder Keizo Shimizu has been highly regarded for a long time within Japan for pushing boundaries and redefining stereotypes. In 1988, Shimizu founded Nepenthes as a small second-hand store in a residential part of Tokyo, selling American made products that Shimizu imported himself from factory stores in America.

In the 1990s, as American companies began to export more of their manufacturing overseas, Shimizu realized a need for more genuine American made products.  As one of the brands he created, Needles, was founded with the intent to create a more sophisticated collection of clothing within Japan.  It has since become the face of Nepenthes represents, reflecting the creative spirit and appreciation of craftsmanship of the founder.  From its bohemian soft-tailored goods to the 'Rebuild' (sub-label of re-purposed vintage garments) Needles continues to display a refreshing and perfectly coordinated balance of traditional garments with avant-garde tendencies.