Welcome to Haystack Stories, a website rooted in nostalgia.
Past. Present. Perfect.

The VHS Tape Nicole Najafi Stole From Blockbuster

The VHS Tape Nicole Najafi Stole From Blockbuster

Fashion entrepreneur Nicole Najafi is, simply, a boss. She's launched not one, but two equally covetable labels during her impressive career. First, there's denim favorite Industry Standard, the made-in-LA jeans-and-more brand we discovered as Lucky Magazine editors and haven't stopped wearing since. More recently she co-introduced Tio y Tia, a collection of southwest-inspired hats that make us want to book a trip to Santa Fe, like, yesterday. Nicole's also a true '90s kid, as evidenced by her deep connection to the 1996 watch-on-repeat—and endlessly quotable—movie, The First Wives Club. Fill 'em up!

Nicole in a pair of Industry Standard jeans

Nicole in a pair of Industry Standard jeans

Name: Nicole Najafi
Occupation: Founder, Industry Standard + Co-founder, Tio y Tia
Handle: @nicolenajafi and SECRETLY @drakescoffeecake, my cartoon account teehee
Location: New York, NY

What’s the star of your Haystack Story?
The First Wives Club VHS tape.

Do you still have it?
In some storage unit somewhere buried under stacks of cardboard boxes crumbling under the weight of useless garbage.

Tell us about it. 
Honestly, this is the best movie ever made. And everyone should see it. But yes, I can recite pretty much every scene with disturbing accuracy.

What makes it so perfect?
This film was ahead of its time. A female-centric movie about three women getting revenge on their husbands who left them for younger women? And it tackles alcoholism! Suicide! Alimony! Fun for the whole family.

How does it make you feel?
Like I should not marry a tool. And that men come and go, but sisters are forever.

If this item could talk what would it say?
"You don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys...." 

When did you get it?
I believe in 1997 after it was donated to us by Blockbuster for never returning it. 

Who did you have a crush on back then?

What did your Friday nights look like?
I was 10, so I think I went home and watched TGIF (Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, etc.)

If someone gave you $20 to spend, what would you have bought?
I would have saved it. Frugal from a young age. 

View this post on Instagram

Mood. #1994 #bermudashorts

A post shared by Nicole Najafi (@nicolenajafi) on

What show did you rush home to watch?
All of the TGIF programming above, The Simpsons, and my sister and I were obsessive about Seinfeld. Also, I loved staying home from school and watching Ricki Lake, Maury Povich and Jerry Springer when my mom wasn't in the room. 

What was your favorite snack?
Frozen potstickers from Costco. My mom would boil a whole bag for me. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Who were you then, and who are you now?
I still go home and watch Seinfeld on Friday nights. Except now I have two eyebrows. 

Illustration by Marisa Balmori

First Impressions: Let's Talk Style Icons

First Impressions: Let's Talk Style Icons

High School Was About Camel Lights, Zima and This Fleece

High School Was About Camel Lights, Zima and This Fleece