Mix & Match – create your own set
Ah! It’ so nice to be on holiday! You finally have time to relax, let it go and do the things you like the most! Of course, for me, this Christmas holiday is all about my newly-born blog, and I can’t stop thinking about how to make it even more interesting and useful. And I already have so many ideas! Stay tuned – I won’t disappoint you!
This time I want to tell you more about Polyvore, a community powered social commerce website. They key feature is that it allows you to create your own ‘set’ (basically a collage) using its database of products. I find it’s a very simple idea, but very powerful. And apparently I’m not the only one loving this website: last August, guys at Polyvore declared they have almost 20 millions new visitors every month. Since the website was launched, in 2006, the users (mostly female, and mostly between 19 and 34 year old) have created more that 40 millions sets.
Here is one of the sets I created, for you to have a look.
You can choose your background, use different effects and finally decide which products you want to showcase. All for free!
If you want, you can mention people by typing @theirname and add a #topic (not very differently from what you would do when using Instagram, for example). Inseparable part of your ‘set’ is the set of products you picked: viewers can click them, and they will be able to see a label indicating the brand, the website to buy them online and the price. Also, they can like the item, and look for other sets using it. It’s really lots of fun!
If creating the set is the first step of the ‘Polyvore process’, sharing it is the rest of the game. Once you are done with the design, you decide if and how to share it with different virtual communities. At first, you share it with others Polyvore users. They can ‘like it’, comment on it and, if they are interested, decide to follow you. By the way, my profile name is Chiara’s Coffee Table. Have a look and, if you like my style, follow me!
Many fashion brands are nowadays aware of the power of these user-generated campaigns (every ‘set’ is actually a campaign) and Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lancôme, Net-a-Porter and others already used Polyvore as a consultant to drive product engagement.
And I’m aware of the power of this tool as well! Sometimes, when I can’t decide what to wear, I prepare a couple of set using products similar to the ones I have in my wardrobe. Then I look at them. Again. And again. And again. At the end I pick the one I’m happier with. It helps making the right decision! Here is a set I prepared when I was about to decide what to wear for Ivan’s Sizzling Christmas party (if you lost the post I wrote, you find it here).
But for me Polyvore is not only fun. It’s also a work tool! It helped me coming out of some very difficult working situations. First, I forgot to say that, starting from 2010, there is also an Interior Design category, other than fashion and beauty. Here, to create your set, you can browse furniture, lighting, rugs, home decor, bed and bath, kitchen & dining elements from famous and niche producers, both for indoor and outdoor. For an architect, this is a very useful tool, easy to use (way easier than Photoshop, for example) and essential in the communication process with the clients.
Very often , when I need to give them a quick idea of what I have in mind for them , I prepare one or more sets and use them to start a conversation. Then it’s really easy to find out what they like and what they don’t, and if the direction I’m following is the right one.
Here is a set I created for a project of a small jewellery boutique in Beijing.
I really think this is a wonderful website, fun and useful. During this holiday, I couldn’t stop playing with it, even when in bed (you can even use your iPhone/iPad, as they have an app too!)!
While playing with Polyvore, I was delighted to wear:
Pictures were taken with my white iPhone 5