It's all my brother's fault. The fact that's he's younger and has an original Takashi Murakami's print hanging in his New York City apartment was the reason I sought out a store named Fice in Salt Lake City (160 E. 200 South, @fice_gallery). I was jealous and had to have a Murakami, even if it was just a slip-on sneaker from Vans Vault with the artist's iconic smiling flower.
I've been following Fice on Instagram forever (that's how I found out about the release) and its feed is rad, but a little out of my style element. Or maybe not, now that sneakers are de rigueur. I haven't been in the store since it opened in 2008—I went there before a Twilight Concert at nearby Gallivan Center.
Fast forward eight years, and I return to Fice to find out the limited edition Murakamis sold out in 5 hours. What? Seriously? Yes, folks wait in line, sometimes for five days, in anticipation of a limited-edition sneaker release. What was going on in here? I had to find out.
Fice is in the historic building that formerly housed Guthrie Bicycle for more than 100 years. If the location doesn't seem familiar at first, all you need to do is look at the store's east exterior brick wall, where the owners (local guy Corey Bullough and retired pro shredder Laura Hadar) commissioned a striking giant mural, "Ave Maria," by street artists El Mac and Retina. Bullough and Hadar created a concept unique in Utah and the Mountain West region: a sneaker boutique with street wear inspired by New York City sneaker shops/art gallery with monthly rotating local artists.
This is not your ordinary Foot Locker fare. Fice sells Nike and Vans, but those shoe manufacturers have unique lines separate from their retail tiers, which they sell to very select stores across the United States. For example, the Vans Vault line is available at only 26 stores across the country and 40 shops worldwide, and Fice is in the game. Fice also represents the top-tier Asics and Saucony lines.
Their clothing labels are just as unique, with brands like 10 Deep, Black Scale and The Hundreds. These lines are at once fashion-forward and throwbacks to the late '80s/early '90s hip-hop scene. Huf is a line that uses retro '80s imagery and reworks it into a contemporary vision with a nod to the past.
Sneakers have totally crossed over into mainstream fashion and are no longer worn just at the gym. Just as jeans made their way into the workplace, now sneakers are doing the same. Fice has got you covered for a totally unique, one-of-a-kind sneaker. Step in there.
FICE STANDOUTS (Clockwise left to right)
• Air Jordan 11 lab 4 red, $250
• "Hands" tee designed by SLC artist Isaac Hastings, $28
• Ladies Nike Dunk Sky Hi Essential in teal/white, $120
• 10 Deep Island Life tee, $48
• Two Thirds Collaboration with Vans Vault, purple and gray high-top in canvas, $100
• Nike Air Max "Swamp Thing," $110
• Ladies Nike wind runner in green, $180
• Ladies Nike Free TR Fit 5, black & white geo pattern, $110
• Huf Boca (flower) hat, $40
• Huf gingham oxford shirt, $68
• Asics sneaker, $110
• Huf "Plant Life" socks, more like marijuana leaves, $12
• Vans Vault Diemme brown leather high top, handmade and constructed in Italy, $350
• Stance Socks Stockton & Malone, $14
• The Hundreds X Fice Colloboration Team Hat, $36