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Lesser Known Japanese Jacket Brands

Blackadder

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I was. And I lived in Asia, own lots of JDM products, etc. I also have a decent amount of Japanese cultural knowledge from my studies. I'm obviously not opposed to Japanese brands and products.

But the weird Japan fetish reflected by some threads here is odd to me (and odd to my Japanese friends.)
I think sshack is visting Japan this month and is merely doing research.
 

Canuck Panda

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If you go to Japan and have the time please check out Electric Studio (And report back!) They’re using full range of Badalassi to make their jackets and from what I’ve read on the Electric Studio thread they’re giving decent value with the current exchange rates. From what I’ve gathered here they could be a hidden gem, not just for the 70s stuff but for premium leather jackets in general.
 

sshack

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Your attempted trap fails. I frequent Yahoo Japan auctions and one can easily pick up Japanese made, Japanese brand jackets at a steep discount.

You've also shifted the goalposts. At no point did I say that Aero Japan was more expensive than every Japanese brand. The idea that a used Aero would be more expensive than a used jacket from a company that was more expensive than Aero to begin with doesn't follow.

I simply pointed out that many companies and products exist as cheaper local alternatives to the imports. Addict is one of the clearest examples.
Relax, dude. No one's trying to trap anyone. I don't even have time or the inclination to dissect this word salad. I don't care enough. I rather spend time making out with my wife. Jeez, this is like a worm hole back to the 90's with flame wars et al.
 

sshack

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I was. And I lived in Asia, own lots of JDM products, etc. I also have a decent amount of Japanese cultural knowledge from my studies. I'm obviously not opposed to Japanese brands and products.

But the weird Japan fetish reflected by some threads here is odd to me (and odd to my Japanese friends.)
As an Asian-American, I'm going to pass on this. Mostly. But congratulations on your Asian studies and keen "Japan-Fetish" radar. You busted me/us! Unfortunately, I'm in the throes of a serious Japanese leather fetish... having weaned myself off my depraved Scottish Leather fetish. Where's Badalassi from? What country fetish is that?
 
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Aloysius

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I think sshack is visting Japan this month and is merely doing research.

I wasn't referring to sshack as fetishizing Japanese leather (though he took it as such as you can see below). I was thinking more of the "Why can't Western companies dream of being as good as Japanese ones?" thread.

As an Asian-American, I'm going to pass on this. Mostly. But congratulations on your Asian studies and keen "Japan-Fetish" radar. You busted me/us! Unfortunately, I'm in the throes of a serious Japanese leather fetish... having weaned myself off my depraved Scottish Leather fetish. Where's Badalassi from? What country fetish is that?

Attacks aside, I'm Asian myself… My point in bringing up my background was that I wasn't making some racist tirade against Asian jackets, like some weirdo who was banned some months ago.

I'd respond to the rest of this insanity but I wasn't even talking about you as having the Japan fetish.
 
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Jasonissm

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The reputation for Japanese leather jackets are pretty much built on the heavy hitters: Freewheeler's, Real McCoy's, Rainbow Country, The Flat Head, etc.

There are a lot that deal pretty much exclusively to their domestic market and have no real interest/appetite to expand internationally. They're also a bit difficult to find information about in English online as well, so I think this thread is great for discussion about that and learning about more jackets available on the market. I think there's a bit of value to finding these lesser known brands and evaluating the quality for ourselves. For example, brands like Dalee's make repros of early 20th century French vintage jackets which I think is a niche that isn't often done, so at the very least, they're interesting to look at.

I do share the same sentiment, there are many Japanese leather jackets that aren't up to par in terms of the patterns, construction, etc. so especially the lesser known brands definitely should all be looked at with a healthy dose of skepticism.

As an Australian, getting leather jackets imported from the US will have higher markups than even when they're getting imported to Japan oftentimes. I'm still on the lookout for a Vanson Model E in my size that I can get over here for a reasonable price
 
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Jasonissm

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108
I think he is talking about brand new Aero at Aero's Japanese dealers. For some reasons, second hand price for a lot of the Western made jackets say from Schott, Aero, Eastman and LW are pretty low despite the fact that the new ones cost quite a lot more in Japan (well, the yen is weak now so it does not seem that much more).
Not sure if they have raised the prices recently for imported brands, but they may in future. Empty Garage, which is one of the White's Boots dealers in Japan have raised their prices due to the weak yen and that was already on top of the usual Japan markup, so will see in the future if other dealers decide to do the same.
 

Canuck Panda

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If anyone is looking for car coats, Colimbo is a very good option. I believe it is made by Rainbow Country factory, and the retail is less than the one RC offers. I've been trying to track one down but I always get out bid and new ones are sold out in my size. Popular item, the Colimbo Stockman coat.

Not shilling for Rainbow Country, but once the retail gets into the ¥180,000 to ¥200,000 range, RC is the best bet. It compared favorably in terms of quality over RMC and FW (of which it is the OEM maker of).

I didn't have luck with Y2 jackets or OEM jackets made by Y2, like Dapper's, and I believe my Orgueil is also made by Y2 factory. The Y2 patterns runs narrower, so size 42 means 54cm or 21.5" P2P. Most other Japanese 42 I have is between 55 to 56cm, 22" to 22.5" P2P, and with an inch wider in shoulder (47 to 48cm). Y2 factory also uses thicker leather, 1.4mm plus and they do not skive. In this case I think the non skiving western brands are much better option in comparison. I believe Y2 fills the need in Japan for those who wants the heavier weight jackets but not familiar with western brands. A Vanson B jacket in Japan sells for a bit more than the similar Y2 single rider for example.

Fine Creek used to be a good deal when they were under ¥160,000 retail, now they are in the same retail bracket as RC I just don't see the value since they have less fancy interior lining finishing, same nice shell construction though. The more I research into this brand, I see they are more like sales persons for multiple different factories. They are selling the same East West jacket Jelado is selling now, in different finish and leather but same jacket.

Double Helix looks promising and I will post about it when I get it. They are still mostly under the ¥160,000 range. I assume they are new brand and that's how they all start, lower priced than the senior brands out of respect. There was a time when FCL was in this price range but no more.

To me, the quintessential Japanese jacket is a Shinki jacket made with skived seams and smaller needle and very tight paneled lining. I don't think they are better or worse than western brand jackets. They just do this formula better than western brands for less money. But when the demand is for thicker leather non skived better mobility, this is where western brand jackets shines. The most "expensive" jacket in Japan to my knowledge is not a Freewheeler but a Langlitz. So they also have a crowd that look for western jackets there too. Just like the western crowd that look for Japanese jackets.

Lots of restocking going on right now in Japan. So if you are going there now it's the time for jacket shopping there.
 

Blackadder

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If anyone is looking for car coats, Colimbo is a very good option. I believe it is made by Rainbow Country factory, and the retail is less than the one RC offers. I've been trying to track one down but I always get out bid and new ones are sold out in my size. Popular item, the Colimbo Stockman coat.

Not shilling for Rainbow Country, but once the retail gets into the ¥180,000 to ¥200,000 range, RC is the best bet. It compared favorably in terms of quality over RMC and FW (of which it is the OEM maker of).

I didn't have luck with Y2 jackets or OEM jackets made by Y2, like Dapper's, and I believe my Orgueil is also made by Y2 factory. The Y2 patterns runs narrower, so size 42 means 54cm or 21.5" P2P. Most other Japanese 42 I have is between 55 to 56cm, 22" to 22.5" P2P, and with an inch wider in shoulder (47 to 48cm). Y2 factory also uses thicker leather, 1.4mm plus and they do not skive. In this case I think the non skiving western brands are much better option in comparison. I believe Y2 fills the need in Japan for those who wants the heavier weight jackets but not familiar with western brands. A Vanson B jacket in Japan sells for a bit more than the similar Y2 single rider for example.

Fine Creek used to be a good deal when they were under ¥160,000 retail, now they are in the same retail bracket as RC I just don't see the value since they have less fancy interior lining finishing, same nice shell construction though. The more I research into this brand, I see they are more like sales persons for multiple different factories. They are selling the same East West jacket Jelado is selling now, in different finish and leather but same jacket.

Double Helix looks promising and I will post about it when I get it. They are still mostly under the ¥160,000 range. I assume they are new brand and that's how they all start, lower priced than the senior brands out of respect. There was a time when FCL was in this price range but no more.

To me, the quintessential Japanese jacket is a Shinki jacket made with skived seams and smaller needle and very tight paneled lining. I don't think they are better or worse than western brand jackets. They just do this formula better than western brands for less money. But when the demand is for thicker leather non skived better mobility, this is where western brand jackets shines. The most "expensive" jacket in Japan to my knowledge is not a Freewheeler but a Langlitz. So they also have a crowd that look for western jackets there too. Just like the western crowd that look for Japanese jackets.

Lots of restocking going on right now in Japan. So if you are going there now it's the time for jacket shopping there.
I believe RM claims they make their own leather jackets in house. At least for the last 10 years or so. Furthermore, I doubt RC would ever make jackets for RM. I don't think it was an amicable break when those guys left RM.
 

Blackadder

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I think it is all a misunderstanding. After coming across a thread on Styleforum today I think I can understand the reference to "Japanese fetish" or hype now. I believe it is not like that here on FL. Fetishist members quickly moved "elsewhere". No need to get riled up. LOL.
As long as we are declaring interest, I am Eurasian and I love Japanese clothing. Not just the repro brands. Even my drinks and food are mostly from Japan because I shop at Donki and Aeon because things there cost less than the local supermarket chain. Japanese clothing fits me better and I can buy Japanese clothing from Japan at even lower price than in Japan. I don't have to pay the Japanese sales tax that is 10% off the Japanese ticket price already and I live in a free trade city where is no import duty or sales tax. The international shipping is the lowest because it is only 4 hours' flight to Tokyo from here. The saving in Japanese sales tax would usually more than cover my international shipping and/or proxy fee. So yes I pay even less than say buying at RM's Tokyo store which offers no tax refund. In fact I do go to RM's and FW's stores in Japan to try on things only to come back home to buy the items online. LOL. It has gotten so difficult for the local dealers/importers to do business here because they have to try and match the price in Japan.
 
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Jasonissm

One of the Regulars
Messages
108
If anyone is looking for car coats, Colimbo is a very good option. I believe it is made by Rainbow Country factory, and the retail is less than the one RC offers. I've been trying to track one down but I always get out bid and new ones are sold out in my size. Popular item, the Colimbo Stockman coat.

Not shilling for Rainbow Country, but once the retail gets into the ¥180,000 to ¥200,000 range, RC is the best bet. It compared favorably in terms of quality over RMC and FW (of which it is the OEM maker of).

I didn't have luck with Y2 jackets or OEM jackets made by Y2, like Dapper's, and I believe my Orgueil is also made by Y2 factory. The Y2 patterns runs narrower, so size 42 means 54cm or 21.5" P2P. Most other Japanese 42 I have is between 55 to 56cm, 22" to 22.5" P2P, and with an inch wider in shoulder (47 to 48cm). Y2 factory also uses thicker leather, 1.4mm plus and they do not skive. In this case I think the non skiving western brands are much better option in comparison. I believe Y2 fills the need in Japan for those who wants the heavier weight jackets but not familiar with western brands. A Vanson B jacket in Japan sells for a bit more than the similar Y2 single rider for example.

Fine Creek used to be a good deal when they were under ¥160,000 retail, now they are in the same retail bracket as RC I just don't see the value since they have less fancy interior lining finishing, same nice shell construction though. The more I research into this brand, I see they are more like sales persons for multiple different factories. They are selling the same East West jacket Jelado is selling now, in different finish and leather but same jacket.

Double Helix looks promising and I will post about it when I get it. They are still mostly under the ¥160,000 range. I assume they are new brand and that's how they all start, lower priced than the senior brands out of respect. There was a time when FCL was in this price range but no more.

To me, the quintessential Japanese jacket is a Shinki jacket made with skived seams and smaller needle and very tight paneled lining. I don't think they are better or worse than western brand jackets. They just do this formula better than western brands for less money. But when the demand is for thicker leather non skived better mobility, this is where western brand jackets shines. The most "expensive" jacket in Japan to my knowledge is not a Freewheeler but a Langlitz. So they also have a crowd that look for western jackets there too. Just like the western crowd that look for Japanese jackets.

Lots of restocking going on right now in Japan. So if you are going there now it's the time for jacket shopping there.
Awesome, will be on the hunt for a Freewheelers or Rainbow Country when I visit next year. No other brand really captivates me as much as those two, but I definitely still want to see all the others in the flesh. From what I can tell, they don't really carry too much stock on hand, especially in a 44 so not sure if I'll be able to get one.

Lot of fantastic info here and interesting regarding the construction methods of each especially about the skiving and stuff, thanks for sharing! Do you know if Double Helix does skiving on their jackets?
 

sshack

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Messages
288
Location
California
t
If anyone is looking for car coats, Colimbo is a very good option. I believe it is made by Rainbow Country factory, and the retail is less than the one RC offers. I've been trying to track one down but I always get out bid and new ones are sold out in my size. Popular item, the Colimbo Stockman coat.

Not shilling for Rainbow Country, but once the retail gets into the ¥180,000 to ¥200,000 range, RC is the best bet. It compared favorably in terms of quality over RMC and FW (of which it is the OEM maker of).

I didn't have luck with Y2 jackets or OEM jackets made by Y2, like Dapper's, and I believe my Orgueil is also made by Y2 factory. The Y2 patterns runs narrower, so size 42 means 54cm or 21.5" P2P. Most other Japanese 42 I have is between 55 to 56cm, 22" to 22.5" P2P, and with an inch wider in shoulder (47 to 48cm). Y2 factory also uses thicker leather, 1.4mm plus and they do not skive. In this case I think the non skiving western brands are much better option in comparison. I believe Y2 fills the need in Japan for those who wants the heavier weight jackets but not familiar with western brands. A Vanson B jacket in Japan sells for a bit more than the similar Y2 single rider for example.

Fine Creek used to be a good deal when they were under ¥160,000 retail, now they are in the same retail bracket as RC I just don't see the value since they have less fancy interior lining finishing, same nice shell construction though. The more I research into this brand, I see they are more like sales persons for multiple different factories. They are selling the same East West jacket Jelado is selling now, in different finish and leather but same jacket.

Double Helix looks promising and I will post about it when I get it. They are still mostly under the ¥160,000 range. I assume they are new brand and that's how they all start, lower priced than the senior brands out of respect. There was a time when FCL was in this price range but no more.

To me, the quintessential Japanese jacket is a Shinki jacket made with skived seams and smaller needle and very tight paneled lining. I don't think they are better or worse than western brand jackets. They just do this formula better than western brands for less money. But when the demand is for thicker leather non skived better mobility, this is where western brand jackets shines. The most "expensive" jacket in Japan to my knowledge is not a Freewheeler but a Langlitz. So they also have a crowd that look for western jackets there too. Just like the western crowd that look for Japanese jackets.

Lots of restocking going on right now in Japan. So if you are going there now it's the time for jacket shopping there.
Thanks! This is helpful, will have to look into the Columbo and Rainbow Country connection!
UPDATE--
I saw this on another forum. Seems a steep price if true.

"Colimbo is the low cost outlet/version of The Real McCoy‘s and mostly made in China but labeled ( and marketed via/ ) in Japan…( BTW this is also the case for BR since 2017 for all their goods and for some even earlier).
Greetings from Kyōto. "
 
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sshack

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288
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Hmm, this Orgueil has some nice stuff. But 169,000 yen for steerhide. Also, I will never be able to remember their name unless I'm reading it.



.
orguilcossack1.jpeg



oroguil2.jpeg
 

Jasonissm

One of the Regulars
Messages
108
t

Thanks! This is helpful, will have to look into the Columbo and Rainbow Country connection!
UPDATE--
I saw this on another forum. Seems a steep price if true.

"Colimbo is the low cost outlet/version of The Real McCoy‘s and mostly made in China but labeled ( and marketed via/ ) in Japan…( BTW this is also the case for BR since 2017 for all their goods and for some even earlier).
Greetings from Kyōto. "
That is not true, at least for their leather jackets. Those are pretty much confirmed to be made by Rainbow Country, they use the exact same California Mfg. tag as well as having "collaborations" on jackets and helmet bags, e.g. Colimbo collaboration is an elongated version of the Rainbow Country helmet bag.

For their jackets which aren't marketed as collaborations, I am not sure to be entirely honest, but I have also heard they are all made by Rainbow Country.

Also, that is no longer true for Buzz Rickson's as well, it initially started as a collaboration with The Real McCoy's, but they eventually split off and it's fully operated by Toyo Enterprise now.

I checked Colimbo tags online and that is not even true for their cloth jackets as well, see it says "Made in Japan":
i-img872x1200-1668056072zdfpeb2686.jpg
 

Jasonissm

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Messages
108
Also I found this interesting excerpt from a Mercari listing the other day regarding connection between Rainbow Country and The Real McCoy's

"Rainbow Country was created by Mr. Miyoshi, who worked on leather products at the former Real McCoy's in 2004 It is a factory brand that can be custom-ordered using high-quality leather established in 1999."
 

Jasonissm

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Messages
108
Here's a review of a Tenjin Works jacket in Chinese with some great close up shots of the leather and construction. Looks really great, their most popular is this veg tan cowhide and they also make boots and also some really nice looking leather pants. Quite interested in their crosszip and sports jackets, they look great, wonder how they compare with Rainbow Country and the others.

dudewuttheheck has talked about them favourably in his blog, but not sure if he's owned one previously. They also did a trunk show at Barnstormer Gotemba quite recently.
firefox_UhUvz7d5iC.jpg
 
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Canuck Panda

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I believe RM claims they make their own leather jackets in house. At least for the last 10 years or so. Furthermore, I doubt RC would ever make jackets for RM. I don't think it was an amicable break when those guys left RM.
My bad, I see where I miss worded things. RMC definitely not made by Rainbow Country. I just meant FW. And those two (RMC and FW) are very well made. Not better than Rainbow Country, just more pricey but they offer very unique styles that can't be found stock elsewhere except going custom.
 

Canuck Panda

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I've compared the used jackets I've got from Y2, Orgueil, and Dapper's. They have unskived seams and bigger needle stitches, kinda like my Aero's. Nothing wrong with this, I love my Aero's and these Japanese ones. But if I were buying them brand new I would swing for Rainbow Country or TM at least, for that refined skived seams tighter needle work finishing. I think all these three jackets are now retailing in the ¥190k range, and that's RC price range. Used BNWT can be had for half the old retail or third of new retail. Lesser known brands just can't fetch the resale like the popular brands, so they are great deal on the used market. The Y2 has surprisingly nice leather though, thick and soft and full aniline. Not sure where they're getting their leather from. The Orgueil fits well but is the most meh of the three. That's why I was trying to find a Colimbo stockman for less on used market but no luck yet.

IMG_0936.JPG


To sum up I think the lesser known brands are best on the used market. No point paying their full retail when the known brands are the same price range, and offers more of that skived tight stitch "Japanese" construction feel, and better resale.
 

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