Needles The designer of Needles, Keizo Shimizu, founded Nepenthes as an apparel distributor in Japan in 1988. He opened his legendary first retail store in 1989 in Aoyama, Tokyo. Since then Nepenthes has brought unique and diverse brands from all over the world to market. As the house brand of Nepenthes, the Needles collection is created from the very personal viewpoint of Mr. Shimizu. He creates the collection without compromise, using the best manufacturers available through the Nepenthes network.