Made In St. Louis: Needlepoint Belts Looking To Shake Their Preppy Past

By Debra D. Bass
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the three friends from St. Louis who hope to share their preppy style with the world. They say their needlepoint belts do more than hold up trousers, they’re “conversation starters!”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Never Back Belts”

Founders –Patrick O’Hara, Stephanie Zipp and Jonathan Woo

Age –Woo is 29; O’Hara and Zipp are 28

Home –Woo lives in the Central West End, and both Zipp and O’Hara are in Chicago

What they make –Needlepoint belts

How to buy –There are three styles currently available for $95 at shopneverback.com. A St. Louis-themed belt is in the works for spring.

Social lubricant –Stephanie Zipp explained that one of the best selling points is the fact that their belts are conversation starters.

Patrick O’Hara grew up wearing preppy needlepoint belts, so he knew the appeal of having other people comment on the accessory. He got the idea to bring the stereotypically East Coast country club look to the Midwest.

Zipp said that they decided to design a few for the everyman –and everywoman; she also wears the belts. “It really is a social lubricant.

The belts tell a story and people want to talk to you about them,” Zipp said.

Since the company launched in April, she said that she’s been shocked by the level of support from the golf community and others looking to make a statement in their style.

Old Glory –So far the company makes three belts with an “old school” leather backing, including an American flag belt called Old Glory. Another features nautical flags as a tribute to one way people communicated before cellphones (the belt’s flags spell out “From Sea to Shining Sea”), and a golf belt pays homage to Jack Nicklaus and is called “The Golden Bear” with an alternating design of golf balls, clubs and flags.

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