By Sid Peterson
Three local individuals have teamed up to create Vice, a business that purchases, sells, and trades street-wear, sneakers, and vintage clothing.
Demetrius Perry, Peter Krogull, and Tony Casella are the masterminds behind the shop, 114 E. Prentiss St.
In August 2017, at Perry’s sneaker event “Kick-It,” the trio met and clicked instantly, Perry said. They a shared vision for a collaborative startup that would blend each of their passions. Vice was the obvious answer.
Vice has a ’90s nostalgic vibe. Colorful graffiti, cartoon characters on the walls, action figures, and posters of iconic athletes fill the space.
The atmosphere is noticeably different from your average retail shop — it cultivates conversations about hip-hop and the release of Supreme’s newest collection. All avenues of street-wear converge in the space, exposing individuals to clothing seen nowhere else in Iowa City.
“Kids want the Supreme, they want the Guess Ts, Kanye West shoes, and we wanted to fill in the gap and bring something cool,” Casella said.
The street-wear culture is alive and thriving in Iowa City. As a business that buys, sells, and trades, customers can bring in pieces to Vice and get in-store credit or cash. Everything in the shop is hand-selected by the owners, and many are rare, one-of-a-kind items.
“People are bringing us pieces that I didn’t think they had out here,” Casella said. “That Balenciaga campaign T showed up, the retail is going for $400, and rappers are wearing it. This kid just had it and said that he bought it in Barney’s in Chicago and didn’t wear it anymore. So I said, ‘We’ll take it.’ ”
Thrifting and reselling have been Krogull’s main source of income since 2015. Some people are oblivious to the value of vintage goods, which makes spending hours in thrift or consignment stores very rewarding.
“Some of my biggest flips have come from the Coralville Goodwill,” Krogull said. “I have thrifted shoes for $4 and then have sold them for $230 on eBay.”
Perry said the recipe for getting those big “flips” is simple.
“You just have to know what you are looking for,” he said. “Because the person who put it in there obviously didn’t know what they had, or they didn’t want to go through the work of selling it.”
Even high-schoolers in Iowa City have profited from dabbling in the thrifting industry.
“They will buy stuff from us, and then flip it, and sell it themselves to make more money,” Casella said. “It is crazy to me, these kids are doing what I did with Pokémon cards, and now they are doing it with $500 sneakers.”
Vice is a creative, contemporary business, and the three want to continue bringing excitement to the community. Featuring a DJ once a month, incorporating local clothing lines, and offering more clothing targeted toward the female market are all in the works, the three said.
“We are bringing the uniqueness and culture that isn’t here yet,” Casella said. “Someone was going to do it, and we wanted to be the ones who did.”