Of the many Japanese brands that streetwear aficionados are first introduced to their celebrity style idols, NEEDLES may be one of the most misunderstood. Yes, its tracksuits hardly need an introduction, but the label is so much more than mere sportswear, quietly issuing expansive seasonal collections and countless collabs every year. But those track pants and jackets are what get the kids goin', so here we are.
And, to be fair, there's nothing wrong with NEEDLES' spin on the adidas classic. The Nepenthes family brand cleverly loosens up the jackets and strips the pants of their elastic hem to create a voluminous retro silhouette all its own, with quality Japanese polyester that's comfortably elastic, both silky and hardwearing.
It's an all-season classic, which is probably why the Yomiuri Giants baseball team is so interested in getting its own NEEDLES track gear.
The Giants, who are currently in the running to finish third in Japanese baseball's Central League, have been getting pretty deep into fashion recently, having just stepped out in outfits designed by none other than Yohji Yamamoto.
Now, with NEEDLES, they've got their off-mound gear all squared away.
The NEEDLES x Yomiuri Giants track sets include a collaborative black jacket, pants, ball cap, and packable bucket hat, the latter two created by New Era Japan.
It's an interesting partnership, with Yamamoto's shadow cast over the entire affair: he's not only a longtime New Era partner and oversaw his own recent Giants team-up, but also brought in NEEDLES to help launch his youth-focused WILDSIDE brand, which is currently prepping for the designer's latest Supreme collab.
Strange, actually, that NEEDLES hasn't gotten its own Supreme or similar streetwear collab — though it's partnered with A$AP Rocky's AWGE collective on popular track suits, only fellow NEPENTHES brand SOUTH2 WEST8 has secured a nod from Supreme.
Is it a sign of cooling interest in NEEDLES' signature track gear? Probably not. It's not like NEEDLES really needs the Sup boost, anyways.