Creative Soccer Culture

Loco Dice Talks A Love For Juventus And Contemporary Merch

There's no denying the Juventus status. A club that is both cultured and creative, they have the ability to merge subcultures whilst celebrate the elite game like no other. In similar vein, the music of Loco Dice is global. A Juventus fan who recently fronted the club's 'Icon Collection', we spoke to him about his passion for the club and the appreciation for an innovative approach.

Can you remember that first moment when Juventus came into your life?

I would say it was when I was a really young, young kid. I was born and raised in Germany but I’m from Tunisia. I used to go with my family, every summer holiday to Tunisia. My whole family by that time was already Juventus supporters. My family in Tunisia followed a team called CSS which people call the “Juventus of the Arab”. It has the same jersey, the same colours, the same mentality and you see it on all the walls in Tunisia and I remember that vividly as a kid. It was a coincidence but that’s how I remember it from a young age. My mum was in love with Michele Platini. I remember that from a young age. He was always her favourite player. That’s how it grew with me and since then I’ve been a Juventus fan.

What does the club mean to you now and has that support grown over time?

I’ve always been Juventus. I have a love for my home team of Fortuna Dusseldorf because that’s my city. They go between the first and second division but Juventus were always my team. They’re the team I celebrate with and follow closely. They’re the ones I live for.

What players personify the club for you and how would you describe what Juventus stands for?

With all the respect to those players who are out there now, I can only describe the icons from my era. It is all those names like Buffon, Del Piero, Trezeguet and Chiellini who have left a legacy. Those are players who almost dedicated their lives to the club. They gave so much and so many years to the club. They went down with the club into the second division and stayed with them and got promoted back to the top. Staying with the club through those times meant a lot for me. Zinedine Zidane and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - they’re two of my favourite players and I’m so glad that they served us and the club. Ronaldo has to earn his spot now, he’s still young and needs to give us a few more years before we call him a Juventus legend [laughs].

It must be incredible when a player of that stature signs for your club. What was it like?

Man. When the rumours first started, I was losing my mind. I have a close connection to the club so I was hearing rumours early but you never knew if it could be a reality. Everything is very cryptic in football but as it was becoming true I had to take a step back and just say “wow”. I was speechless. Then I started hearing from friends that he has some property in Turin or something like that and I had to tell myself, “this is really happening”. It still feels surreal but then on the flip side, now he’s playing for the side, it feels like he’s been there for ages - the way he instantly fitted in as part of the squad - that amazed me. He’s not a player that needs a season or two to find his feet. He fits perfectly. He had players like Higuin around him and things like that so I think he had friends at the club. He made it look easy.

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A cultured club that mixes football with fashion, music and style - when did you first become more involved with the club and with players?

The first time I did something was a long time ago. At the end of a Serie A season, a lot of the players came to a party that I was putting on in Torino. When I started with electronic music, I was playing in Torino a lot and I have a lot of friends there. I got to know a lot of players naturally through that way. With music, it brings people together. The club is traditional, like a lot of clubs, in a way but it’s always been a club that has a modern side to it. Things like the recent jersey that had a pink stripe down the middle, or changing the badge of the club to something more modern - that all comes from a global marketing approach but the ambition of the club is to spark an interest of a new generation. Old school and tradition simply doesn’t work so the approach has to be innovative in this era. You have to respect the past and bring that in but with a progressive approach that appeals to a creative and youthful audience. That’s what the club have done so well.

The club was a powerhouse in that sense. Probably the first club to make a real bold statement through a re-brand. It shocked half of football and successfully blew the mind of the creative side of football in a good way - do you see them as a club that stands out?

I think it’s a perfect way to do this. You can build a team of players and take care of all that stuff but to create a philosophy of a football club and getting that image right, that’s not easy and I really think the club got this right. I respect the club for taking this approach and the direction they are going in. For me, I’m just like this too. I am traditional but I try to redefine myself and evolve with time. It’s a natural evolution. With all the respect to tradition it’s so important to open yourself up and get ahead of the times.

This collection is an example of that - it’s a proper streetwear capsule - what are your thoughts on it?

I think it’s a great idea. It’s amazing. I was so happy when I went to Turin and I saw the collection. I think it hits such a good mark. I think it also gives room to go a little more crazy in the future but I think you have to go step by step. The colourways and everything that has been selected, it really is the right way. I think people will take to it. Especially the new generation. Football has become boring with it’s typical merch so this approach works so well. For all those people who live to celebrate the club in the way I do, you want to have something to wear that looks good too. The Italians do this and this collection does this. Like South Americans, like the British, football is in your veins and when you’re wearing clothing of your club that blends in with fashion that’s such a great thing. It’s something that has been missing for a while.

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On the merch side and how to present a strong image, few do it better than the way the music world does. Do you think there’s elements you can take from the music world - like merch - and apply it to the football scene?

100%. It has to go step by step though and it needs to be natural and authentic. Just like this collection. It’s the start but it’s definitely the right direction. I think people will take this and it’s going to be successful. Football, like music, is full of critics but you have to take that first step. By the time you’ve put out that third track or that third football jersey, those critics will be wearing them, having not liked the change at the start. It’s a process and the club can win these people over. There’s always a sideline to the Juventus brand that has been done so well. They’ve kept to their traditions with their jerseys, respecting the black and white colours but you can see their ambition to think differently. It’s a club that has traditions on one side but then on the other side has this evolutionary approach to what they do.

Music and football go hand in hand - musicians all want to be players and players want to be musicians - have you experienced that?

It’s amazing but it’s not something you only see in football. You see it in hip-hop and basketball and the way they work together and you see that happening in many sports. I think it’s something human. As human’s we’re always dreaming, you never want to stop achieving things. Once you become good at something, you achieve something, you’re always looking to see what is next to aim for. The important thing is to stay true to yourself and your craft. I’m a DJ. I give one million percent to DJing because that’s my love. I can only speak about myself, when I started to find a love for fashion and started playing with textiles and designs, it was still ultimately a hobby. DJ’ing is my profession. I think it’s important to think that way and to have a sideline that lets you dream that little bit more. It can also help you focus on your craft.

Like you say, those sidelines are important. Similarly with players we should celebrate the interest they show in other areas and subcultures that cross into the game…

It’s so important. It’s the reason we’re talking now. Ten years ago, this thing wouldn’t have happened. Collections like this wouldn’t have happened. It’s exciting to see where football is going and where it mixes with music. Football is music, it’s fashion, it’s everything. It makes sense that these world’s become closer. We’re inspired by each other. The athletes listen to our music, they get pumped by our music before a game and on the other side, we’re inspired by what they do on the pitch. Music also get’s used to make something beautiful and to make something sound good. It can help the image of football change and bringing these things together is only a good thing. We should celebrate when a player shows a creative side to their personality.

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How would you describe the last few years for you? Life just seems to be getting bigger and bigger for you and your music…

The journey was a crazy one for me. I started as a hip-hop artist way back and then in ‘98 came into the electronic music industry. I wasn’t welcomed with open arms back then - I had to earn my stripes, earn my way into the game and win people over through my work and now here I am. It’s not over yet - there’s a new generation coming and you have to keep proving yourself and showing the world that you’re not the old school guy without forcing things. At the end, I am who I am and if I do my thing, it seems to work out well. I’m not a plastic product - I’m a real person. There’s no posing to me - I am who I am on instagram, there’s no Instagram versus reality for me.

What would you like to conquer next? What ambitions haven’t you completed?

There’s a lot. If I lay down my dreams people would call me crazy. There’s a lot of things I’ve yet to reach but want to go after. Playing in a movie, designing a capsule with a crazy designer - there’s so much. Right now, I’m looking at what’s going on in this moment and that’s the collection with Juventus. I say those words as a fan, the kid who loved his club - it’s Juventus I’m working with - that’s a huge thing that very few people will get to do. I’m hugely humble and honoured to be involved. I’m even looking forward to the stick I’ll get from my Napoli and Milan friends but this club is my love. This is a huge achievement for me. It’s not just any team, it’s the team I supported since day one. 

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Shop the new Juventus Icon collection at
Photography by Stefano Carloni


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