Owner: Matt Wong.
When did you move to your new location on Park Street? About two months ago on April 7. This is a bigger space in a good location. We started seven years ago at our former location [on Alameda Avenue] in April 2005.
What is behind the name of your store? Most major metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco or L.A. have districts that are unique. I modeled the store after ones that I had been to. I wanted a big-city feel.
What do you carry? We carry shoes — mostly casual shoes for men, women and children. We started carrying Tom’s shoes three years ago when they were a small brand. For every pair of Tom’s shoes that are sold, Tom’s gives away a pair of shoes to someone needy in a Third World country.
We also sell apparel. Our clothing is what is called "street wear" that is rooted in youth culture.
What is the appeal of street wear? When we started, the brands and culture were more underground. You didn’t see print ads for the brands. They were advertised through social media or word of mouth. You won’t find most of the brands in our store in the local mall. We offer something different. Even the major brands that we carry like Nike or Vans have segmented lines of their products that are only offered to boutique stores like ours.
Now, it’s bordering on mainstream. I think it’s pop culture. Some of the appeal for younger buyers is that feeling of “this is our world” and not yours.
What is the age range of your shoppers? Some of them are middle school or high school-aged. There are buyers my age (36), although I’m more of an elder statesman.
So if you are an elder statesman, what does that make someone my age? Wait — never mind — forget I asked!
District Footwear is now located at 1322 Park St. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Telephone: (510) 865-1640.