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 -_-”’).