Polyvore Was Just Shut Down By Ssense. But Why? | Forum

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mary Apr 25 '18

The end came suddenly, and users are more than a little pissed.

on Thursday, Polyvore users were alerted to an upsetting piece of news: The website, where anyone could go to make outfit collages and mood boards, had suddenly shut down after being acquired by the high-end fashion retailer Ssense. In a note to its “Polyfam,” Polyvore explained that its operations and app had been discontinued. By that time, its website already redirected to Ssense.

On Twitter and Instagram, the response from longtime Polyvore fans was swift, loud, and very, very angry. Many of them lamented the loss of a favorite creative outlet and a place to discover new products and brands. They expressed frustration at not being given a heads up and not having an easy way to save the boards they’d created (Polyvore said that users have until May 10 to request a download of their work). One user, Lauren Coates, started a petition to reinstate Polyvore, which has gotten more than 4,600 of its target 5,000 signatures so far.


@oath @SSENSE @polyvore I'm still furious, can't reach the site where I can download my sets. Years of work, friends, blogposts are gone.
It's not only a disgusting way to treat Millions of users all around the World but a communicational suicide. #bringbackpolyvore https://twitter.com/Riellity/status/982206642434420742 …

6:58 PM - Apr 6, 2018 · Gödöllo, Hungary



S/O to all the writers, artists, fashion enthusiasts, and members who got screwed by @polyvore and @SSENSE - you're not alone. And yes, it is some bullsh*t.

6:17 PM - Apr 5, 2018


Why did Ssense acquire Polyvore? For its user list, most obviously. (Neither Ssense nor Oath responded immediately to requests for comment.) Polyvore, which was formerly owned by the media company Oath, said in its goodbye letter that user data and email addresses would be shared with Ssense (“so that they can contact you with information about SSENSE”) unless people chose to opt out.

But then you have to wonder why Ssense wanted Polyvore’s user data, because the two brands could not be more different.

Founded in 2007, Polyvore made a name for itself by democratizing fashion and making it possible for everyone to play editor with fashion, beauty, and home products. Brand discovery was a crowdsourced community experience.

Ssense traffics heavily in uber-cool fashion world darlings like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy and sits at a luxury price point, selling $795 Balenciaga hoodies and $1,020 R13 denim jackets. Its robust editorial wing skews arty and intellectual, with meditations on topics like Croatian brutalism and sound art. There is certainly an overlap between the Polyvore and Ssense community, but the former’s democratizing mission (which was mentioned again in yesterday’s blog post) does sit weirdly with Ssense’s sensibility, which can be tough to penetrate if you’re not already intimately familiar with design and fashion.

That disconnect is even apparent in the two brands’ announcement Instagrams, both of which use Polyvore’s collage tool. Polyvore’s is sweet and low-key in a mainstream way; Ssense’s is polished and features the foremost in ugly-cool fashion.

It’s unclear whether Ssense is planning to bring back Polyvore’s tools in some capacity, or whether this is really just the end of Polyvore as we know it. If it’s not, Ssense is going to have a hell of a time winning back users.

The Forum post is edited by mary Apr 25 '18