Aika Jin jeans & Enishi Yoshi jeans

IMPORTANT NOTE:

AIKA is no longer in operation! I’ve noticed someone on the internet offering pre-orders for the Aika jeans and Enishi Yoshi jeans.

I FIND THIS HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS – and I CAN’T VOUCH FOR THE AUTHENTICITY.

Just a note to those who are interested in the AIKA & Enishi Yoshi jeans – there is someone on the Internet offering pre-orders for these jeans.

I just want to let you know that AIKA is not coming back (it has closed for good). A former employee of the company has 100% confirmed this!

Also, note the suspicious points about the ad this man has posted:

* unclear, old-stock photos

* incorrectly stating that the yoshi jean by Enishi is an AIKA product (it is not!)

* the ‘slim’ models he is offering I have NEVER seen before at either AIKA or their retailers

* extremely weird ‘selvedge’ on these slim models and an unfamiliar logo

* pricing is much lower than what AIKA sold them for

No matter what he tells you – AIKA HAS BEEN LIQUIDATED & SHUT DOWN as of 2009.

It is not coming back, never ever.

**

Here are a couple of pairs I bought locally in Oz – a pair of Aika’s top Jin model and the Yoshi jean from Aika’s Japanese OEM factory brand, Enishi.

I wasn’t too familiar with either brands at the time of purchase, I only knew that Aika was a designed in Aussie / made in Japan company (which has recently gone bankrupt) and Enishi is the house-brand of the Japanese factory that puts together Aika’s jeans.

I’m gonna put up the Enishi jean first…
It had the absolute nicest denim available in the store I was in, hidden under a pile of other jeans. I almost went past it until I felt the denim – and I was amazed!!! The following pics were taken after 1.5 months wear.


The denim was heavier than I expected (I think around 14oz?) and has a hairy, slubby texture to it with a deep, dark indigo (someone told me it was very similar to the Samurai Zero denim). The cut is a traditional slim-straight type, and had quite a nice fit (for me anyway :P).

The hardware used were fairly good, nice vintage feel to the steel.


The stitch pattern at the back was interesting, substituting a leather patch.


The pocket cloths are indigo dyed also, and are thick & smooth.


Notice the slubs in the denim, created by alternating the weave tension during the making of the denim fabric. I really am in love with this denim, and it has retained it’s ruggedness even after many weeks of wear.

Btw, the original threads are poly. Hemming was done by Kurt at faith with 100% cotton. He does awesome hemming!!!

Here is the Aika Jin jean. R.I.P Aika~

Made by the same factory that made the Enishi Yoshi, but designed for Aussies – I first saw them at Chiodo in Melbourne a couple of years back, but the price tag was a bit scary back then (around $400).

The denim is very nice as well, less hairy and more smooth than the Enishi. Natural indigo is used for dip dyeing 🙂 Feels to be around 14oz post soak (indeed, it is a 14.5 oz fabric made with 100% long-staple Zimbabwe cotton). Nice straight leg cut.


The hardware were not too bad – same steel donuts as the Enishi, but not distressed. Has a nice Japanese style top button. Hidden rivets are a plus!


The leather patch is made out of a very soft, nume leather (cowhide I think), beautiful feel and sheen, but a bit thin for my liking. I’m hoping it will age well… The kanji/traditional Chinese character on the top left means ‘Blue Song’ – Aika.


Pocket cloth is awesome – little goldfish swimming around on sturdy, thick cloths 🙂 A rougher texture than what you’ll usually find on other pocket cloths.


Close-up of denim here! I’m very curious as to how they’d fade – but I don’t plan on rotating the Aika in anytime soon (maybe 2015 or after, the waiting list keeps growing -_-”’).

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16 thoughts on “Aika Jin jeans & Enishi Yoshi jeans

    1. At ‘THIS Store’ in Melbourne. Sadly AIKA no longer exists – your best chance would be second hand. For Enishi jeans, you’ll have to track down the factory in Japan.

      1. where is “this store”? i live in melbourne.. would like to check the store. Btw, how much did you buy for the AIKA jeans?

  1. FYI, some former employees bought up the stock & are selling them.

    Edit: hi, can’t do ads, sorry.

  2. Sorry ’bout the ad, didn’t realise it wasn’t allowed 😮

    I have been looking around for info on Aika since I was acquainted with it last week. I bought a couple of pairs at a clearance shop in Paddington, but, after looking at pics of genuine items, I’m quite suspicious that they are counterfeit.

    Things different:
    – no leather patch
    – pocket cloth is non printed
    – denim is cut & overlocked, so the ‘selvedge’ (is that the right word?) is different

    Things same:
    – “indigo.aika,song” metal button
    – White with red kanji tag on back left pocket (GI copy?)
    – Interior “Made in Japan”, size number & plastic washing instruction tags look authentic (on the washing tag it has “A8_JE_04B”, MADE IN JAPAN, I-CONDUCT, & aikajeans.com on it)
    – Came with paper Aika tag, the back of which looks like it once had a large sticker on it (though, it came with no other tags)

    What do you think?

    1. No problemo 🙂

      Sounds interesting, would you be able to take some pictures and upload/link them for me?
      That way I’ll be able to tell you more definitely.

      What you described above seems to be one of Aika’s synthetic indigo jeans…

      1. That’s interesting, I have not seen Aika jeans in that kind of denim before.
        I would be careful about buying another…
        Your best bet would be to contact the former Aika employee who is selling their stock on Style Forum.

      2. Hi,

        Just to follow up, I got a couple of replies from the former AIKA employees about the jeans I purchased, here are a few things they said:

        “The style you bought is called “New Rei” and made in Japan.”

        “The Jeans that you purchased are from a range that were made out of industrial denim and therefore retailed for much less then the Selvedge denim Jeans. AIKA did those different ranges to compete with lower price pointed Denim brands.
        Selvedge denim is usually very expensive and not every customer appreciate the benefit of Selvedge denim and rather wants to buy a more affordable pair of jeans.”

        I find it interesting that they didn’t list this style on their website (at least the ones that we can see in the archive)….

      3. I see…
        Very interesting, thanks for the follow-up 🙂

        It’s a shame with Aika; as the former-employee correctly points out most Australian denim consumers cannot appreciate the finer points of denim…and those that can tend to stick with the Japanese brands and kop them cheap on Rakuten 😛
        Oh well, at least we both have an interesting piece of Australian denim history!

  3. Im entering the conversation a little late but…. I bought a pair of Aika jeans some years ago (could not tell you how long!) from a store in Melbourne. It took 6 months for the denim to losen up but these were without a doubt the best jeans I have purchased ($400). They have aged beautifully and now look designer-distressed. Just got online today to find where they were stocked but clearly there is little chance to get another pair 😦

    Can anyone recommend a similar selvedge denim 14oz+, subtle styling ?

    1. David, you may like to try the SuperFuture denim forum!
      Have a browse through the different topics, and you’ll find brans like Sugar Cane, Warehouse, Fullcount, etc which have many jeans which would suit your needs!

  4. I just bought 2 pairs of Aika new at a good sams in Perth for $39 @ !!
    They must have been donated by some boutique for tax purposes. I also got 2 pairs of Paul Smith Red Ears, really beautiful denim for the same price and a Paul Smith suit for $29. What a haul. I haven’t had luck like that for a few years when I found some great Replay jeans that where the best things I ever wore. They finally had the bomb and as luck would have it, Bingo !

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