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This article was published on February 19, 2011

The future of Polyvore, the web’s largest fashion community [Interview]

The future of Polyvore, the web’s largest fashion community [Interview]
Amalia Agathou
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Amalia Agathou

Amalia Agathou is the Community Director for The Next Web. She's studied Information and Communication Systems Engineering and has shared he Amalia Agathou is the Community Director for The Next Web. She's studied Information and Communication Systems Engineering and has shared her time between the startup and fashion scene. She has worked as an editor for The Next Web, House& Garden and Glamour magazine. Follow her on Twitter

Polyvore has become much more than a fashion enthusiasts playground, where they can live the Anna Wintour experience by creating their own fashion sets, with a number of mainstream and high end fashion brands engaging in a creative dialog with the Polyvore community and even using the platform as a way to crowdsource new product designs. Polyvore launched style analytics and its bloggers network at the end of 2010, ending the year with a bang, we talked to Katherine Crane, Polyvore’s advertising director to get some insider information on Polyvore’s plans for the future, although to our disappointment we couldn’t get a comment on whether to expect Polyvore mobile apps in the near future.

Could you share with us some stats on the status quo of the Polyvore community? What are the common characteristics of the creators among Polyvore users?

While Polyvore’s community is diverse in terms of ages and geographic location, they share a common passion for fashion. They also enjoy sharing their creations with their friends. We’ve also found that the Polyvore Community is made up of very savvy marketers. They stay very true to a brand’s aesthetic and that’s why so many leading brands and retailers enjoy working with Polyvore.

Have you had any surprising findings while monitoring Polyvore community about the ways people choose to “mix” and interact with clothes?

The best way to see how our creators “mix and match” products is through our Style Analytics tool It enables brands and retailers to see where they rank on Polyvore as well as what their items are being paired with. We’re also noticing that there’s occasionally a correlation between current events and rising brands on Polyvore. For instance, Victor & Rolf made it on Polyvore’s rising brands list after Natalie Portman wore their pink strapless gown adorned with a Swarovski rose to the Golden Globes. Reiss was also one of the top brands on Polyvore following Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William.

How many brands are you working with at the moment? Favorite case study of brand using Polyvore? Are there differences in the way luxury brands, mass retail brands and smaller retailers use Polyvore?

To date, about 40 luxury, designer, beauty, entertainment and CPG clients have partnered with Polyvore. The difference from one brand to the next is how much time and effort they’ve invested in social media. Brands such as Coach, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Bergdorf Goodman and Rebecca Minkoff that have actively managed their relationships with bloggers and their fans on Facebook and Twitter. As a result, they often offer a fresh perspective on how to make collaborations successful. Anthropologie asked bloggers (and huge Anthropologie fans) to take the Polyvore Mini Editor onto their blogs – extending the reach and potential of the set creation. Bergdorf Goodman is another great example – they used the Mini Editor on their Facebook page and their blog, so that Bergdorf Goodman consumers and fans could style Linda Fargo in an environment that they are already familiar with. Bergdorf Goodman also does a tremendous job of using their social media channels to drive awareness of the challenge.

Polyvore’s community is very strong online, are there any off line Polyvore events? Do you see Polyvore becoming part of the in-store experience as stores become enriched with AR and interactive kiosks?

This is definitely an opportunity for us in the future. We partnered with YSL last fall and they featured Polyvore kiosks at their Fashion’s Night Out party in New York.

Polyvore is part of the “democratize fashion” movement. With the latest contest by Rebecca Minkoff and Bergdorf Goodman do you see a trend in democratizing events like Fashion Week too?

I think we’ve seen the ‘democratizing fashion’ movement taking hold for a while now. Bloggers are sitting in the front row during Fashion Week. Derek Lam and eBay did a fantastic crowdsourcing collaboration together. However, what makes Polyvore unique is that our users are actively interacting with designers such as Rebecca Minkoff. One of our creators will see the Dee Clutch make its debut on the catwalk during Fashion Week. Another Polyvore user will actually have the opportunity to help Rebecca Minkoff style her show. Roughly half a dozen Polyvore creators will participate in Fashion Week this February and this is very exciting for us.

Tumblr is a blogging platform that has stood out for the fashion community and Polyvore has strong ties with the blogging community through the Polyvore Blogger Network, any plans for collaboration coming up maybe?

We recognize that a large part of Polyvore’s success is a result of our strong ties to the blogging community. You’ll see us doing more in this area to show our appreciation for all of their support.


What would you like to see from Polyvore in 2011?

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