Ever ached for a pair Jimmy Choos that cost more than a month’s rent, dreamed your JanSport would transform itself into a Fendi or fantasized that Betsey Johnson was your best friend?
For all the girls who have drooled over the pages of Vogue comes an outlet for all that pent up fashion angst that won’t max out your credit card.
Polyvore.com, the Web site that allows users to make their most stylish dreams come true, is taking fashion out of the hands of faceless editors and stylists and bringing it to the laptops of millions.
“Our mission is to democratize fashion,” said Jess Lee, Polyvore’s vice president of product management, in a recent interview with The New Yorker. “To empower people on the street to think about their sense of style and share it with the world.”
Polyvore allows users to clip images of merchandise from anywhere on the Web, assemble them into outfits, or “sets,” and post them for all Polyvore users to see.
As easy as playing paper dolls or cutting out pictures from a magazine, Polyvore’s “clipper” tool allows shopaholics everywhere to get their designer fix without the painfully high price tag.
“We’re a platform that helps the user aspire, inspire and, ultimately, I hope, fulfill,” said Polyvore’s C.E.O. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, to the The New Yorker.
From fashion editors and designers to soccer moms and 14-year-old girls, Polyvore users come in all shapes and sizes, but what the 6.6 million users who log on each month have in common is the need to express themselves.
Polyvore sets are mini collogues that communicate each user’s sense of style or individuality. Some are sophisticated, complete with Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and an inspirational photo of Kate Moss, while others are more personal with original artwork and a message.
Users can join groups and give feedback on each other’s sets leaving positive comments like “I like this” and by clicking on a heart icon.
“Polyvore and shoe shopping are my stress relief,” said a user who identified herself as “elysebrooke” and as a student at the University of Miami.
While the idea of idolizing an industry that is considered by many to be superficial and void of any real significance might seem ridiculous, Polyvore provides a real service to both fashionistas and free thinkers alike.
A new set is a blank canvas waiting for a user to define it and make it their own, a creative space for people to show who they are and what they care most about, whether that’s poetry or Prada.
Laura Edwins may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.