Mitsuhiro Matsuda founded his own fashion label „Nicole,“ in Japan in 1967. In 1974 “Monsieur Nicole” was established, followed by “Madame Nicole” in 1976 and “Zelda” in 1979.
In 1981 Mitsuhiro Matsuda started expanding his business in the United States by launching an international unit “Nicole Club”. On year later he established “Matsuda USA Inc. in the United States and opened his first boutique in New York. In May 1983 Matsuda presented his first collection at the New York Fashion Week.
In 1984 it was announced that “Nicole Club for Men” was established.
In 1986 “Matsuda France Sarl” was established in France and the first boutique was opened in Paris in September 1987.
Yukio Kobayashi had been designing Matsuda's menswear lines since 1983 and, in 1995, took over the women's collection as well, working closely with Matsuhiro Matsuda on its direction. At the time, Matsuda had 500 stores in Japan and had $230 million in wholesale volume; just one percent of this figure was attributable to the U.S. market, according to Women's Wear Daily. The weekly publication further reported that Matsuda would focus on increasing its presence in the U.S. market in the late 1990s, using Kobayashi's expanding and favorable reputation as a launching point.
While the Matsuda label is solely for export, the company markets ten labels under the Nicole banner in Japan. Nicole is licensed for home furnishings, tabletop products, eyewear, luggage, and small leather goods in Japan and around Asia, and Matsuda planned to expand its licensing efforts in the U.S. as well.
In June 1993 “Nicole Sports” and in March 1997 “Nicole Club Kid’s” were launched.