InStyle, Vogue, and Lucky might be the leaders of the newsstands but online they are definitely struggling to hold on to an audience. Three ex-Yahoo engineers crossed over into high fashion territory by starting up a first-of-its-kind user generated online clothing magazine called Polyvore. Users get to play around by creative collages (called “sets”) of pictures of clothes, accessories, and models. When someone sees a set she likes, she can click on a dress, necklace, or pair of shoes and be taken to the website that sells it. Polyvore is definitely outdoing the competition as far as popularity- In June alone it had 25% more traffic than Style.com and InStyle.com, according to Compete analytics. It’s tripled its audience in the last year.
What started as a recreational site with 95% user-generated content, Polyvore is now shifting its focus to making money. It runs ads like the magazine sites do, also earning a commission when users click on or purchase clothes from select e-commerce sites. The company is trying to craft relationships with clothing and accessories sites in return for uploading their product catalogues to the site. With options to Shop, Explore, or Create, the site’s primary purpose is still to be aesthetically stimulating and interactive. With design contests and the ability to title sets with customized fonts, Polyvore really is in the hands of its users and is demonstrating the power and success of this.