STORE: Wealthy Ho$tage

CITY: Brooklyn, NY

SINCE: 2005


PRICES: $$$ (out of 5)

WHY WE COSIGN: As far as we can remember, Manhattan's Soho district has been the place to cop the latest sneakers, T-shirts, fitteds, and basically anything else considered to be poppin' in the streetwear world. But while Manhattan always held us down, until recently not much could be said about the other four boroughs (except Vinnie's Styles, we see you!) Back in 2005, Gene Han noticed the void in Brooklyn and decided to fill it by opening his own boutique: Wealthy Ho$tage. Dedicated to stocking only the dopest product it can get its hands on and giving new brands a chance to shine, this shop is helping to make BK a desired cool-guy shopping destination.

Located just south of Prospect Park on Church Ave., Wealthy Ho$tage specializes in kicks, T-shirts and hoodies, denim, and accessories—basically everything you need to get fly. By being extra picky about what they stock, even well-known labels like ALIFE, Penfield, PRPS, HUF, and Sabit NYC have to come correct just to get their product on the shelves. No matter what your style, you're guaranteed to get the best of best. And just when you thought things couldn't get any better, these guys even stock Tier 0 Nikes. That alone makes this shop worth the trip over the bridge.

Read on for our interview with Gene Han, pics of the store, and the address/web site...

BRANDS CARRIED: 10 Deep, Adidas, Air Jordan, ALIFE, Amongst Friends, Clae, Creative Recreation, Converse, Crooks & Castles, Dr. Martens, Fiberops, Frank 151, Generic Surplus, Hellz Bellz, HUF, Incase, In4mation, Keds, KidRobot, Krink, Married to the MOB, Mishka, New Balance, New Era, Nike, Naked & Famous, Nooka, Nudie, Penfield, PF Flyers, Play Cloths, PRPS, Princess of the Posse, Puma, Red Wing, Rich Yung, Rocksmith, Sabit NYC, Sperry, Supra, Staple Design, Stone Throw, Stussy, Timberland Abington, TOMS, Undefeated, and Vans


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Complex: What was the inspiration behind Wealthy Ho$tage, and how has it influenced the overall look and feel of your store?

Gene: What inspired us location-wise was the lack of good quality products in the Brooklyn area. I essentially wanted to bring the dope styles of Soho to Brooklyn. The name "Wealthy Ho$tage" came about when I was driving around in Coney Island. On a random day I witnessed shady undertakings by some interesting-looking Russian men and a jet-black van on a side street. I saw the name "Wealthy Ho$tage" flash before my eyes right there. I like to think of the name to signify how the "hype" of the market has basically made consumers "hostages" to the market itself. We want to be beyond the hype and provide quality, everlasting product as opposed to what's in for just the season.


Complex: What are your retail plans for the future?

Gene: There are so many plans that I don't know where to begin! Overall, we plan to keep doing what we do and do it well. We will work hard and play hard. We will always be at the forefront of premium streetwear in Brooklyn and we're aiming at taking over the globe!


Complex: What are the next trends in men's style?

Gene: Currently I see a shift back to classic. Classic American brands like Polo are definitely doing well. I think the emphasis will now be more on longevity and value of the product especially because of the economy. Quality and the "story" of the product itself will be the defining difference in the market. I cannot stress enough the importance of the meaning behind any product. New brands and competition is at an all-time high right now and I believe only a unique story behind a product will make it stand out.

Wealthy Ho$tage
1924 Church Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.