Polyvore Interview

Crystal Schwanke
Polyvore screenshot

If you're interested in taking all your online friends browsing and shopping to build your perfect outfit, celeb-inspired or not, Polyvore is the place to go. Not only can you mix and match articles of clothing and accessories from all over the internet, you can get feedback from your fashion-savvy peers. Once you get the "Great look!" go-ahead, you can simply click on the pieces in the set and Polyvore will show you where to buy them. Need inspiration? That's fine, too. Browse through others' sets to get your own ideas for your next big event or regular day outfit.

Exploring Polyvore With Nadia Hussain

LoveToKnow spoke with Nadia Hussain, the PR/Marketing/Community Manager at Polyvore to find out what it's like to use the site.

LTK: How does Polyvore work? It seems like a cross between a shopping site and a social networking spot.

NH: Polyvore is an easy to use, free web application that lets you mix and match images from the web to create fashion outfits, interior designs, and other types of collages (we call them 'sets'). A few million users come each month to discover, identify, create, and share fashion trends and tastes. It's a virtual closet, styling tool, and user-generated fashion magazine, powered by a community of fashionistas, trendsetters, and tastemakers. The community has built itself around the interactive nature of the site.

Designers and Merchants

LTK: Who are some of the merchants you feature on your site?

NH: We feature all types of merchants and designers, from small boutiques to larger retailers. Many shopping portals only feature content from mainstream stores. But Polyvore also features content from smaller boutique stores which is what makes us so unique.

Inspiration for Polyvore

LTK: Where did the idea for Polyvore come from? How hard was it to pull it all together?

NH: Polyvore was co-founded by three ex-Yahoo engineers and the project took several months to complete. Web 2.0 technology had been applied to all verticals except for fashion until Polyvore was born. CEO and co-founder, Pasha Sadri, has always been a big believer in exposure for the small, up-and-coming designers. Small designers may not be featured in fashion magazines like Vogue, but on Polyvore they have an opportunity to gain visibility and build their brand via user-engagement. Polyvore continues to evolve as new features and tools are constantly being added to the site. You can keep up with us on the Polyvore blog.

Finding a Look

LTK: If someone has a celebrity look in mind that they saw and want to copy, can they just do a search on the site to see if someone already did the footwork for them? What about searching by an item, such as "tall black boots?"

NH: There are different ways to search on Polyvore. If you're interested in the styles of a particular celebrity, you can search for that person. Two examples are Lauren Conrad and Mary-Kate Olsen. You'll find many fashion sets inspired by celebrities.

Another great way to search is by trend or item. If you're looking for a great pair of tall black boots, a simple search will bring you to a listing of tall black boots. Items are ranked based on Polyvore community's usage, so there's no question about how fashionable an item is.

If you want to see different ways to wear the boots, Polyvore is the perfect place for you! You can browse a plethora of fashion outfits incorporating tall black boots and get some great tips on how to wear them, like this example of Christian Louboutins.

If you fall in love and are ready to buy them, just click on the image of the boots and we'll take you to the site you can purchase them from. Browse and shop in one go!

Site Contests

LTK: It looks like you have contests on the site periodically. What are they like?

NH: When you visit Polyvore, you'll always see at least one contest running. Contests are for fun and encourage people to create sets around specific themes, concepts, trends and are sometimes sponsored by merchants. Winning sets are featured on the Polyvore homepage and blog, and there are often additional prizes. You can be as creative as you want, but there will generally be some rules by which sets are judged.

Polyvore Community

LTK: How many members does it currently have?

NH: Polyvore currently has 500,000 registered members and 15 million monthly unique visitors.

(So you'll get plenty of inspiration and potentially lots of feedback!)

Merchant Participation

LTK: How can merchants who are interested in having their products shown on your site contact you about that?

NH: Interested merchants can learn more about creating a profile and adding their products to Polyvore by visiting our Merchant page.

Check Out Polyvore for Yourself

Whether you're searching for the perfect outfit or in doubt about the one you've chosen, make Polyvore a part of your shopping experience to get your best look. Visit the official website at www.polyvore.com to create new looks, shop, or even ask for advice from other fashionistas.

Polyvore Interview