The Digitalization that Ramped Up Revenue Growth for German Streetwear Brand, LFDY
From listing a few oversized shirts on eBay to becoming one of the biggest streetwear brands in Germany, Live Fast Die Young (LFDY) is on the fast track without any ifs or buts. New online drops sell out fast and long queues quickly build in front of the brand’s stores for new collections. With these optics, it’s no wonder that the brand belongs to the fastest-growing German fashion labels – all while catering to a niche audience within a subculture.
The real question is not in the ‘what’ but ‘how’ they retained stability during such rapid growth. In this article, we dig deep to uncover LFDY’s recipe for success.
Success isn’t found in a manual, it’s in the mindset
Like most things in life, there is no manual for success when launching a fashion brand and the ‘how-to’ on staying successful doesn’t exist either; what makes one brand an absolute bestseller can be a phenomenal failure for the next. Brands must constantly reinvent themselves and keep their finger on the pulse of time, all without jeopardizing their brand DNA in the process.
LFDY understood the importance of brand identity early on. They not only produce for the street, but they also embody urban culture with all its rough edges. It is precisely this authenticity and transparency that speaks so well to their young & urban clientele. Executive Creative Director of LFDY, Riccardo Ballarino hints at another authentic touchpoint that guides the brand’s popularity: “We work a lot with ‘making-of’ videos to give customers a look behind the scenes and to take them on an emotional journey.”
A journey that brings creativity, risk-taking, and controversy into unmistakable harmony – evident in every social media post, on every shirt print, and at every internal meeting.
Growth relies on sophisticated internal structures
But the journey is never fully over – even when a brand aligns its identity to its values, along with unifying a loyal customer base. Because higher sales figures often equate to more packages, larger warehouses, countless suppliers, and more complex team structures. All of these factors can quickly bring a company down like a house of cards if symptoms are ignored or only delayed action is taken.
LFDY got an early handle on the pain points that were slowing the operative processes down. “We’ve had pretty rapid growth over the past two years. Many new team members joined us, so it was sometimes quite difficult to keep the full structure and overview overall processes”, reflects Riccardo Ballarino. That’s why Lorenz Amend, founder, and CEO of LFDY, immediately initiated structural measures to ensure that its internal complexity didn’t blow their house down.
Structure relies on targeted digitalization
To ensure that the internal structures in a growing fashion brand do not become too complex, a targeted and well-thought-out digitalization strategy is absolutely crucial. More products, more samples, more customers, and more employees always lead to significantly larger and more complex data sets. So how do you ensure that your teams remain perfectly coordinated in all of this and how do you guarantee that important information about customers, products, and processes is accessible to all involved employees at any time?
LFDY is addressing precisely these issues by decisively expanding the company’s digital infrastructure. With the integration of state-of-the-art solutions, all of their data processes became more automated and the entire operational work more intuitive. They started with a merchandise management and ERP system and continued with additional Shopify integrations covering the point-of-sale (POS) area.
But the real hero came from a focus on centralizing relevant data streams, as Karl Krumland, COO and CFO of LFDY, adds: “We are now up to speed with our ‘picking and packing’ processes and get twice as many packages handled than before.” More products shipped means more to the marketplace – a key contributor to their sales growth.
Centralizing customized data streams with a PLM
When implementing new software solutions, LFDY strengthened the backbone of their operations by investing in a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. This finally put an end to their recurring issue of external communication breakdowns with their suppliers through opaque messaging systems such as mail and WhatsApp. It also meant finally moving out of stressful outdated and local Excel sheets. All this is now managed intuitively in a ‘big picture’ with Delogue PLM – accessible from anywhere and at any time.
Riccardo Ballarino explains, “Delogue has brought us more structure and better connects our design and product management teams to work more efficiently.”
LFDY set the pace, but who is ready to follow?
LFDY has set a lot in motion operationally to retain and regenerate their ever-increasing popularity. But every fashion brand ticks differently, has individual needs and sets its own operational priorities. Similar to growth, there is no single formula for success when it comes to digitalization. That is why it’s so important to reflect on the operational problems that are slowing you down and match them with the digital tools that create the greatest added value.
Take the Journey to Digitalisation Path Finder, designed specifically for the fashion industry, to reveal the digital solution that best supports your product development processes for scalability and growth.