Asphalte: A success story.Period.

06.04.2023Alberto Bailin, Co-founder of LienzoPhoto by Possessed Photography

A disruptive business model and the antithesis of fast-fashion

An online store with more than 500.000 monthly visitors. Over 100,000 customers gained in five years. An annual turnover of around €25 million. Incredible numbers for one of the fashion brands that has presented one of the most disruptive and innovative business models in the past years. But let’s start from the beginning to understand these numbers. 

Asphalte is a French fashion brand that was founded in 2016, and is known for its high-quality, minimalist clothing that is designed to be both stylish and durable. At the very beginning, Asphalte’s co-founders studied the market and found that customers wanted more freedom in the choice of styles, materials, and prices. They realized that this was something that the traditional model couldn’t provide, since the typical fashion business approach is: to produce products, sell them, and try to get the best margins. 

Hence, what the people at Asphalte did before launching the brand was to ask customers about their product preferences. Based on customer feedback, they made product prototypes and then launched a pre-order campaign to see if these products would sell. Based on the results of the pre-order campaign, they sold these products to customers based on the pre-orders via the website.

Source: Asphalt (

At this point, you might be wondering whether this strategy actually worked. What may help to answer this question is some data. In less than 5 years the company had more than 70 employees and benefited from annual growth figures of at least 2 figures per year. Moreover some fashion publications like the Gentleman’s Journal call the brand the “future of fashion”.  Therefore, the answer to the question is yes, Asphalte’s business strategy was a total success. Let's analyze this strategy in more detail. 

As we briefly explained, before any item is made, Asphalte asks customers about their style preferences via product surveys, asking customers what clothing they want, why they want it and when they want to wear it. This innovative business strategy brings major benefits to both Asphalte and the customers:

Summarizing, Asphalte's business model is primarily focused on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales through their e-commerce website. They do not have any physical retail stores, and they only sell their clothing and accessories online. This allows Asphalte to have more control over their supply chain and production processes. Furthermore, by working directly with their manufacturers in Europe to produce their clothing, allows them to maintain high standards for quality and sustainability.