Behind the Scenes at Polyvore

At the Mountain View, C.A. headquarters of the popular fashion website, Polyvore, the atmosphere is more geeky than glam. Instead of racks of clothing and supermodels, the majority of the work at Polyvore is done by computer engineers with their noses pressed dangerously close to the screens of various Apple computers.

As such, Polyvore employees might not necessarily be fashion experts, but in actuality, they prefer it that way. Accordingly co-founder Jessica Lee says that Polyvore’s mission is to democratize the fashion industry, with regular people acting as the site’s main influencers—determining what's hot at any given time—rather than a small group of designers and editors.

Here’s how it works: Polyvore users mix and match items found online and in the site’s network of fashion finds to create “sets”—visual features that are part scrapbook, part fashion editorial. Many of those products are, in fact, available to buy online, and users can click straight through the top sets for the pieces they'd like to buy. The folks at the site’s headquarters then keep track of the top products being used, the most popular shopping sites, and the latest brands the Polyvore community is buzzing about.

With more than six million visitors coming to the site each month (some visiting more than a hundred times in said month), the site is rapidly becoming an essential resource for trend-seekers and industry professionals alike. Here, The Feast pulls back the curtain on how it all works, and why the fashion-obsessed around the world can’t stop clicking.

—Video and text by Marnette Federis

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