What’s a polyvore?

Since discovering Polyvore, a fashionista-friendly Web 2.0 site, I’ve been asking myself the same question. I think it means “one who consumes everything” and if so, that couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this site. Founded by ex-Yahoo brain Pasha Sadri (he created Yahoo Pipes, as all you developer types should already know), Polyvore is a user content-created site featuring images borrowed from all the big shopping/fashion sites (like Shopbop, eLuxury, and stylehive).

Users upload a bookmarklet to their browsers which allows them to distill images from anywhere on the web into Polyvore’s database, which are then sorted into buckets for shoes, jeans, tops, dresses, and bags, and tagged not just by keyword, but by color (which makes for creating those chic monochromatic looks a breeze). As the site develops, users are now uploading backgrounds, text, and random images (makeup, cityscapes, flowers, objects d’art) to give further detail to their “sets,” which is what Polyvores call their compositions.

Naturally there’s a social networking component as well, and a Facebook tie-in where you can display your sets on your Facebook profile. Most ingeniously, each image used in Polyvore has a link to where the image was taken from and (I can hear the cha-ching from miles away) a link to the site where the item can be purchased. That’s right boys & girls, you can create your dream outfit in Polyvore and if you have the credit line, take it from virtual to RL. Polyvore, naturally, gets a little revenue share from every sale it brings in to the host sites.

But for me, the most compelling aspect of Polyvore is the ability for users to literally practice their sense of style. Interested in trying out a new look? Work it out virtually in Polyvore before committing to it in RL. Love the 80s throwback look but would never wear it yourself? Have fun with it in Polyvore. (see my submission below).

I love the digital paper doll aspect of Polyvore, and thrill to the idea of finding great pieces by simply hanging out and checking out other Polyvores’ sets. There are also unexpectedly interesting moments on Polyvore, like when fashion and culture intersect and you find a Muslim girl posting a very fashionable set that contains hijab.

There are groups for just about any type of fashion niche, from gothic to heels and dresses to lovers of the color brown (I’m a member). The members (granted, mostly women), are from all over the world, and it’s interesting to see how style is interpreted and expressed in different parts of the world.

If you want to be my Polyvore friend, link to me here.


~ by Lola on January 2, 2008.

2 Responses to “What’s a polyvore?”

  1. Lola,

    Thanks for visiting me at Living Small and on Polyvore. Looking forward to hearing more from you. All the best.

  2. this is kind of awesome.

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