November 1, 2011 by Kellie Gannon
One of my favorite things is functional art. Guice Mann Kicks is functional art. This is the work of Charlie Malta, aka Guice Mann. It all began in eighth grade for Malta, who simply needed a birthday present for his brother & decided to make a customized drawing on a pair of shoes for him. After making these, he decided he needed some of his own. As soon as he wore his own custom kicks to school everyone wanted a pair, so upon entering the ninth grade Malta had himself a business.
The name Guice Mann had an interesting evolution. In grade school kids called Malta “Juice,” “Orange Juice,” or “OJ” due to his non-stop consumption of orange juice. Over time the “J” was changed to a “G” and ultimately became “Guice Mann.”
Malta’s art inspirations come from many places, some stemming from his childhood when his mom would read him Goosebumps & Sweet Pickles books, as well as all the Disney stories, which gave him the imagination he has today. Currently, Malta finds a lot of inspiration in Aztec, Mayan, & Egyptian art, as well as sci-fi movies about monsters & aliens.
At this point, Guice Mann Kicks usually produces about two pairs of shoes per day, totaling 10-12 pairs per week, & approximately 30-40 per month. Grand total since the beginning of the business is over 1,000 original pairs of shoes. He also recently started making his first ever all handmade pair, sewing materials together to create a shoe, which he will then paint & customize.
Words of wisdom from The Guice Mann – “Don’t live life like a normal person. In my case, I don’t live life like a normal 19 year old. I have that written on my desk where I work everyday. So many people out there are similar to each other and are so damn boring, that shit’s whack. I’m just working hard everyday at what I do. I’m dedicated to what I do & I think all the hard work I’ve been putting into my business will definitely pay off.”
Be sure to check out all the original kicks by Guice Mann & get yours today!!