2012 Fashion Week: Online fashion lovers master the offline strut as bloggers hit the runway for Polyvore LIVEFashion show marked latest in efforts to merge Internet and real-world experience
February 15, 2012
New York Daily News
by Meena Hartenstein
Nearly two dozen fashion mavens brought their passion for couture from online to offline Monday night to walk the runway in the Polyvore fashion show.
Twenty-three bloggers strutted their stuff for “Polyvore LIVE presented by COVERGIRL” in the clothing of four young designers (and FIT alums), showing off a mix of flirtatious florals, edgy angles, and elegant flowing looks.
The event was put on by fashion collage website Polyvore, which gives trend lovers the power to act as virtual stylists, letting them create unique combinations of clothing and accessories (or “sets”) to share with friends and other users.
Polyvore, which has raised over $22 million in funding and now boasts over 3 million users, operates a little bit like a fashion-focused Pinterest. Users can pull images of items they like – shoes, clothes, bags, jewelry – onto a virtual bulletin board to create a collage. Each item is instantly shop-able, showing users the price and linking to the site where the item can be purchased.
In addition to shopping and creating your own boards, the sitehelps shoppers discover items and trends by posting official Polyvore boards and highlighting users who produce popular content.
CEO Jess Lee has said the goal of the site is “to find the next generation of Anna Wintours” by encouraging the fashion obsessed to edit their own collages, much like laying out a magazine spread.
Monday’s event was the latest in Polyvore’s effort to tie together their Internet and real-world experience for users. In addition to the crowd of stylists, buyers, editors and fashionistas who packed the house to watch the show, 25,000 people tuned in at home to watch the event on a live stream.
Polyvore users were also invited to participate beforehand in a competition to mix and match their own collages from the designers’ collections that would be shown. The winners were flown to New York to sit front row.
The models, including Alicia Lund of Cheetah is the New Black, Claire Geist of De Lune, Kimberly Pesch of eat.sleep.wear and Sydne Summer of Sydne Style, were chosen from the more than 2,000 bloggers that Polyvore works with to show off the diverse styles of the site’s users. The group included a mix of age groups, styles, countries, and both veterans and newcomers to the site.
And to complete the digital tie-in, of course, some of the clothes exhibited are available online - fans of the collections can check out Polyvore to find out how to buy.