By Lydia Dishman (Contributor, Fast Company)
Next time you stand in front of your closet with no idea what to wear, remember there’s an army of wannabe Anna Wintours and Rachel Zoes on Polyvore ready to offer inspiration.
In just a few clicks, these aspiring stylists, artists, and creative kids-next-door can turn out a trendy head-to-toe look by tapping Polyvore’s vast database of designer apparel and accessories. Leading the charge is Jess Lee, cofounder and VP of product of the online platform that straddles the intersection of style and social commerce.
Since 2007, Polyvore has been providing an online platform for the fashion-minded to create “sets” from over 42 million images that encompass everything from Chanel nail polish to Burberry shearling coats. These carefully composed collages of branded products are wielding considerable influence over the fashion industry.
Polyvore users create over 35,000 sets a day and the site attracts over 11 million unique visitors per month, making it the most-visited fashion destination on the web.
Polyvore’s profitability, generating revenue from targeted promotions with brand sponsors, prompted some to copy its business model and others to shift entirely. For instance Style.com, Condé Nast’s online repository for fashion news and runway photos, took a back step into print, while Google’s Boutiques.com shut down entirely last month.
For a self-professed tech geek who loves to draw, Lee tells Fast Company that Polyvore’s growth affirms she made the right move four years ago. Lee left a solid job at Google Maps to join the startup team at a time when fashion and technology were far from cozy.
“Our friends worried about random users having creative control over 100-year-old brands,” Lee recalls.
Now Polyvore members are outfitting the likes of Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo and seeing their designs on the runways. “I’m excited to be a part of that form of acceptance,” says Lee.
» Read the full article at Fast Company.