A description and critical review is given about the Polyvore fashion app, written by two students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute: Robin Buter and Evita Lie.
If you have always dreamt of being the next Anna Wintour, then you may want to start with this app. Polyvore is a free fashion app that is available on both Android and Apple devices. The infamous fashion app was founded in February 2007 by Guangwei Yuan, Pasha Sadri and Jianing Hu (source). As Alexandra Jacobs already stated in the ‘New Yorker’, Polyvore was the start of a fashion democracy (source).
The main function of Polyvore is to give users the possibility to create editorial-like sets and communicate with other crazed Polyvorians. Your personal set can consist of images of clothing, accessories, beauty products and interior design from a huge range of brands. You can add music, editorial photos, backgrounds, texts and frames to finish your own canvas of individual expression. At this way, users can discover the latest trends and get inspired from a global online community of amateur stylists and editors.
The products that you can choose from are shown in an extensive archive where users are able to add them to their collage or to‘like’ them. By clicking on the visible heart on the top right, the app saves the product in a special ‘favourite’ list. The more items a user likes, the smarter the app becomes and eventually turning your feed into a personalized collection just for you. Another unique feature is the fact that the items can be bought. By clicking on an item, the app redirects the user to the online shop of the particular brand or web shop. Therefore, the app will also generate as one huge collective online store.
Polyvore allows users to communicate with each other by using hashtags and by mentioning your fellow friends in a message. This way Polyvore created a community of loyal users. According to Cnet, the app hits 1 million downloads and 20 million monthly users who are creating 3 million sets a month in 2013 (source).
Polyvore has been around the block for quite a while now, but what exactly is their role in the fashion scene? Polyvore is a great combination of fashion, communication and creativity. It is the perfect way to let out your inner stylist/graphic designer and share it with the world. This app is for those who want to create something unique and inspiring with all the right tools handed to them. The entire process of creating the collage is like working with an extremely easy version of Photoshop. With just a few taps and slides on your phone you are able to make an exciting editorial spread just like the ones where Anna and her team at Vogue have worked on for months.
When you open the app on your phone you’ll notice the black, white and grey lay-out, creating a sleek and smooth look. If you look at the image of the app, you can see this basis of simplicity with no hassle and no frills. It is not elaborate, but rather plain looking as the look of the app is composed of only the truly important things, which are the images. Nothing else is shown. This lay-out that has no additions or modifications is simple and clear.
All the images shown in the app are presented in small square frames with a piercing white background, putting all focus on the shown products. The home page is a collection of clothing and collages made by other users set up for you to endless scroll through it. With a few tabs at the top and bottom everything is quite easy to find.
What makes this app truly exceptional is the range of possibilities they offer. It’s a fashion app made for everyone. It’s for the ones who want to get inspired by the frenzy of fashion and for the ones who contribute to it. But unlike other inspirational fashion apps such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram where you can share your creations, Polyvore offers the unique possibility to immediately buy your inspiration from an amazingly broad archive. Polyvore pioneered the idea of a democracy and freedom by letting the public decide what to put on the ever so influential and untouchable domain of the glossy spreads. It is a platform for the true individuals and it’s time for us to be seen.