Daisuke Obana’s N.Hoolywood is a masterstroke in the ongoing dialogue between Japanese and American fashion. Obana started the company in 2001, 6 years after opening go-getter, the secondhand shop known for its expensive selection of American-made goods from the 1970s and 80s. His insatiate collector’s habit found him taking frequent buying trips to the United States, almost always staying at the same friend’s house in North Hollywood. On returning, he earned the moniker “Mr. Hollywood” from those he was acquainted with, which prompted him to name his clothing line after those exploits. Obana devotes a significant amount of his attention to American style, history and culture, the meat and drink of which is exhibited in his increasingly venturesome collections.
The majority of the company’s offering is split into two sub-labels, COMPILE and Test Product Exchange Service. COMPILE includes the company’s tailoring, formalwear and much of what is presented as part of each season. A great deal of energy is devoted to eschewing traditional elements of menswear in terms of their fit and fabric. Cotton, linen and wool are often replaced with rayon or a synthetic blend that serves an expected appearance or function, but with key differences like lighter weight, better movement, wrinkle resistance or increased comfort. Cuts of garments can range from a sharp study of classic reference points to shrinking and expanding virtually every dimension of them, flirting with the boundaries of what can be considered appropriate for an environment without crossing the line.
Test Product Exchange Service is where N.Hoolywood connects with Obana’s roots in vintage and army surplus, producing military inspired garments and presenting them in the style of the U.S. military’s Exchange Service. True to both the company’s unique creative disposition and the rigid, codified organization of defense structures, garments feature marks of individual branch exchanges and are occasionally made in collaboration with American companies recognized by the armed forces. Together, COMPILE and Test Product Exchange Service parse through the transgressive, studied and precise language of the brand.