Polyvore Shares Year’s Top Style TrendsDecember 16, 2011
by Lorraine Sanders
Prediction: fashion brands that don’t already love technology with Bieber fan levels of enthusiasm will soon. The latest reason: Mountain View’s Polyvore is harnessing the power of its online community and dishing out data and stats on fashion trends, consumer behavior and search habits that would (and probably should) make labels and retailers swoon.
“Polyvore essentially acts as a very large focus group that can help brands understand what their customers are gravitating to,” says Lauren Applegate, Polyvore’s Intelligence Report editor.
For the uninitiated, Polyvore allows site visitors to make magazine-like collages called “sets” using images of apparel, accessories, shoes and graphic elements that range from fun backgrounds to drop shadows and text. The sets can then be saved, shared and published on blogs and via social media. If you see an item you like, whether it’s part of a set you created or someone else’s, you can click through to find out where to purchase it.
The set above is a recent one from Patricia Coelho (a.k.a. Je Suis un Lapin to the Polyvore community), one of Polyvore’s most-followed members. Titled “I Left my Heart in San Francisco,” it features items ranging from a $56 Topshop scarf to a $648 Tsumori Chisato cardigan.
The “Polyvore Intelligence Report: 2011 Year in Review/Style Analytics” released this week notes the company’s growth to 12.2 million unique visitors last month. That’s almost double the 6.2 million who came to the site in January 2011. In turn, those users shared their Polyvore creations over social media some 400,000 times in November, and that activity resulted, the company says, in over 135 million views on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
For the site’s users, who are largely female and mostly between the ages of 18 and 34, sets are fun, entertaining and visually expressive. But for brands, they have the potential to become, when considered en masse, a sequin-spangled goldmine of interesting findings.
So were Polyvore’s 85 million visitors going gaga over during the last 11 months? Prints, minimalism and monochrome styling were the top three trends, based on sets created. The top-viewed top was a $394 citrus-hued blouse by Equipment, while the most-view frock was the simple, black Malene Birger Madina dress. Givenchy’s Antigona Duffel was the top-viewed handbag.
While the other most-viewed products hailed from upscale labels such as Valentino and Miu Miu, community members’ searches revealed a much wider-reaching and eclectic assortment of tastes. Chanel, H&M and Selena Gomez and the word, “vintage,” shared spots in the site’s top 20 searches. As for the most popular brands, user favored a high-low mix, with H&M and Topshop first and second, respectively, followed by Alexander McQueen, Balmain and 3.1. Phillip Lim.
“The fact that users come into Polyvore searching for everything from Jimmy Choo shoes and Louis Vuitton handbags to Frye boots and Nike shoes demonstrates the incredible range of our consumers.”