Keizo Shimizu
Founder of NEPENTHES

Fashion , Retail

Quietly rolling into its 30th year, Keizo Shimizu’s NEPENTHES has been a constant in Japanese fashion since the brand's inception. Shimizu initially formed the label with the intention of collecting vintage Americana, but the project quickly grew, and now hosts an array of essential fashion imprints including Needles, SOUTH2 WEST8, Sonic Lab and New York’s Engineered Garments. NEPENTHES has continued to serve as an incubator for progressive young labels, including this year’s debut collections from RANDT and AïE, as well as collaborating with a variety of heritage footwear brands ranging from Vans to Troentorp. Of all the labels under the NEPENTHES umbrella, Needles had a standout year—photographs of influential personalities like Tyga and A$AP Rocky wearing the brand’s track pants made the rounds early in the year, immediately creating enough demand to cause similar pairs to sell out. Meanwhile, the label’s Asymmetric Ghillie Sneaker and Rebuild sub-label also enjoyed boosted popularity, collectively transforming the once-niche Japanese brand into a global streetwear mainstay.
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