Updated 6:49 p.m. to include screenshots from an anonymous source's dms with SSENSE.
Polyvore, online fashion design platform was acquired by SSENSE today and Polyvore's user base was told via an email today that the platform has been shut down.
The email explained the Polyvore team was appreciative of the 11 years of loyal users and thanked users for their smiles.
It was a horseshit email and a horseshit way to deal with what could have been a positive change.
I get that in 2018 the bottom line is important and I get that Polyvore was struggling. None of that negates how valuable a loyal user base is.
Although I have my own ideas, I can't really speculate as to why SSENSE wanted Polyvore. I know definitively that it wasn't for the millions of user-made creations, as user profiles were promptly deleted and replaces with a hack job method to potentially download user content.
Polyvore operated on the basis of millions of images, clipped into an editor, then users went wild. From interior design; menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear; to scrictly artistic 'sets,' Polyvore users were given a platform to create.
And create we did.
I joined Polyvore 9 years ago. and I began making sets with clothes from Hollister and Abercrombie I couldn't afford.
I told my friends about Polyvore and my friend Claire and I would talk about Polyvore in math class. We'd pull up her profile on her family computer and we'd comment on each other's sets. We'd use the messenger feature to talk about the boys we liked or what we were going to wear to school dances.
Then, slowly, as I grew, Polyvore grew. Contests and challenges taught me new brands, new styles, new ways of doing things.
In like 2007, there was a trend where users would make mosaic 'sets' out of eyeshadow swatches, creating something new from a boring stale picture.
I entered a small contest with an entry I'd worked on for hours. I had outlined a backflipping gymnast's body only using those little colored images.
Let me tell you, I was fucking proud, and I had every right to be. I was 13 and creating art that other people cared about.
On Twitter today, I've read the stories from hundreds of disappointed Polyvore users.
From young children to single mothers, lgbtq+ youth, mentally ill teens, grandmothers, people from Portugal, Italy, Spain, and more, Polyvore was a place for expression, creativity, art.
And everything is gone.
SSENSE is an online retailer with no editor feature, essentially ripping the least important aspect away from Polyvore and trashing all the gooey creative insides that mattered.
They either want user data, email addresses, passwords and more, or they want something else, maybe something trademarked or something in the code, but this wasn't the way to get it.
Even if this acquisition was truly the only way and Polyvore didn't sell us to the highest bidder (which I firmly believe) this was not the way to handle it.
In the digital age, it has become standard operating practice to give notice when a site is going to shut down. Recently, think about AIM shutting down. Hell, even fucking Picnik let users know what was happening, when it was happening and how to retrieve user data.
Polyvore had this responsibility and let us down.
They included a link in the email to download user data and to opt out of providing SSENSE with user information but most users report those links as broken.
Users who have been able to retrieve data from Polyvore report that 'collections' and 'items' come back in an Excel spreadsheet with broken links to Polyvore which won't open.
Users report that the only helpful data they are able to download is their 'sets.'
This is something, but this is also nothing.
Loads of users were on Polyvore to write, roleplay, interact with friends, etc.
All of this is lost.
Users were not able to message the friends they had found in the 11 years Polyvore has been online. There was no chance to reach out to contacts to exchange information to get in contact outside of Polyvore.
Users have no access to the 'items' they have saved to Polyvore or the 'collections' they made.
I remember a long time ago, Polyvore floated the idea of auto deleting the oldest saved 'items' in a user's saved 'items' after a certain amount of time. The blowback was intense and Polyvore was heavily criticized by it's user base.
Polyvore promptly rolled back this decision and listened to its users.
I am so sad to see that same company do it's users so dirty today.
I joined Polyvore in middle school, as an awkward unsure kid in the middle of puberty just trying to find myself, my voice, my style. I used Polyvore for school projects and told my teachers about this cool new design platform.
As we can see on Twitter today, teachers were literally in the middle of using Polyvore with their students when it shut down. What now?
You couldn't even consider other business models or asking the community for help. Why didn't you float the idea of a pay-to-play model or putting a price on the app?
I stayed on Polyvore through high school, creating and expressing myself, learning new brands, new looks, new ways to style. I made friends, I learned from other user's creativity. I grew.
I sought refuge on Polyvore when growing up was weird, scary, and rough.
I stayed on Polyvore through college. I was busy but sometimes I was able to escape onto Polyvore, make collections and sets, I made digital mood boards and almost used Polyvore as a blog.
Before I created Bruised Knuckles, I used Polyvore. Polyvore was the beginning of it all for me.
Even in my post-grad life, I used Polyvore. I'd search items or use the platform for inspiration. I would scroll down my feed and absorb the creativity.
Polyvore sparked something in me, but unfortunately for Polyvore, that spark grew into a fire.
I can't end this story with a hopeful tidbit about another platform I suggest you use or tell you to spam @SSENSE and @Polyvore on Twitter to let them know how bad this fuck up is (although personally, I have been) and I can't tell you that enough signatures on that petition will make Polyvore come back.
I can't tell you any of that because this betrayal cuts deep. I supported Polyvore for 9 years. It feels like a 9 year relationship ending over an email and no way to even get my stuff back.
I used Polyvore on this website under the Fashion tab, I have a fucking Polyvore mug they sent to me. I'm mad.
And I learned, probably through Polyvore, that creativity is an outlet and that's why I'm writing this.
I'm sure SSENSE and Polyvore are hoping everyone will just shut up and it will all blow over and they'll get whatever information they wanted or the users will reluctantly come crawling back.
I hope with every fiber of my being that they're wrong. I hope the #Polyfam, as Polyvore so presumptuously called us, knows that as creatives we are valuable and we won't be treated as though we're not.
If you're coming from Polyvore, please comment your story on the website, tell the world about what you lost, don't let your story be deleted along with your work. Share why Polyvore was important to you, don't stay quiet.
The email from Polyvore read:
Dear Polyvore Community,
Above is Polyvore's download tool that you can find at https://account-update.polyvore.com/cgi/data-tool. I still haven't received anything back, but who knows.
Many users report not even receiving this email, and some are having difficulties logging in to change their password to opt out of sharing data with SSENSE.
It's a crapshoot.
Users have also had some luck using Wayback Machine http://archive.org/web/ , searching Google Images with "yourusername + Polyvore" or searching Pinterest for "yourusername + Polyvore" or their username alone. I have found some of my work but not the hundreds and hundreds of creations I spent 9 years making.
Disgruntled users are trying to find each other on Twitter or in a new Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/170182606908532/?multi_permalinks=170221000238026%2C170220396904753%2C170220373571422%2C170219476904845%2C170219383571521¬if_id=1522963613719510¬if_t=group_activity&ref=notif
Feel free to sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/former-polyvore-users-creative-minds-bring-back-polyvore?recruiter=126902320&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial.nafta_milestone_share_ask_victory.control
Above are screenshots from an anonymous source's conversation with SSENSE about the acquisition. It seems SSENSE is quick to distance themselves from any responsibility for the chaos and lost work.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any more information.
Have a hard time waking up in the morning?
Ever wake up exhausted?
Good, than this post was made for you. This look was inspired by lack of sleep, and only took 5 minutes to put together.
I tend to lean towards easy and classic or grunge styles (complete opposites I know.)
Around 98% of my clothes will be affordable — and by affordable I mean $50 or less for each individual item.
From Top to Bottom:
Sneakers-Tj Maxx $20
Necklace- Forever21 $8
Sunnies- Street vendor in NYC $5
I’ve always tried my best to support human and animal rights, as well as protect the environment.
I identify as an intersectional feminist, recycle, don’t eat meat, abstain from buying non-cruelty free beauty products.
But one of the aspects in my life where I’ve neglected to criticize is the clothes I buy.
Many of my friends have argued that it’s hypocritical to ignore the underpaid and overworked farm workers that are behind the produce vegetarians/vegans use to build their “cruelty-free” diet, and I can agree.
These arguments made me wonder why we don’t bring more attention to the millions of adults and children that are abused in factories overseas to create the clothes we buy in common clothing stores.
Fast fashion is usually defined as the fast-paced fashion industry, where trends move quickly from the runway to stores you’ll find in the mall.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, you already know that most low-end clothing stores receive shipments of new styles every single week.
As clothing gets more inexpensive, consumers have been buying more— especially since the quality isn’t made to last the way it was when clothing was higher-priced and made in America.
Behind these new styles is an entire world of mistreatment that we have been ignoring.
It’s no secret that our production has moved out of the U.S. and into sweatshops overseas.
In these sweatshops, children are exploited to create clothing for pennies per hour.
Countless news articles and documentaries like “The True Cost” have been dedicated to the horrors of sweatshops, yet the biggest culprits of these instances, including Walmart, Zara, and Forever 21, continue to thrive.
The damage that fast fashion inflicts on our planet is immense as well— the clothing industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, oil being the first.
According to the EDA, 85% of textile waste -10.5 million tons- ends up in landfills, while only 15% is recycled.
Dyes from clothing make up ⅕ of water pollution as well.
Even if you make an effort to recycle your plastics and use less paper, the clothing brands that you give money to continue to destroy the environment further.
So what do we do to help?
There’s a number of ways to avoid fast fashion, or at least cut down on how much money you give to big companies that abuse their workers and hurt our planet.
Click here to check out my YouTube playlist of my favorite videos on the topic.
So even as the weather gets colder again, I've been firmly looking towards spring, and that is really reflected in my clothing recently.
I thought I might share that inspiration in a lookbook for the impending season.
My first pick is the long sleeve floral mini dress from StyleWe. I love the sleeves and the thicker fabric, but the length and floral pattern allow it to transition well into spring. I think this kind of vibe says i'm looking to spring rather than holy sHIT ITS SPRING.
I also adore the structured trunk box clutch. It's subtle but a statement piece.
I love the pairing of the two here, and the vibe is really cool.
I adore this dress. It's super versatile, not mega revealing but ultra sexy.
The stripes and the sheer fabric make it almost just look like censored lines and I love it.
This is a more baller choice, but would be killer for night time looks.
These two piece looks are great. They're monotone and add some fun to the mundane and especially these colors— the cranberry and dark teal are subtle but feel very *almost spring.*
I love the gauzy sheer look to these two dresses. The longer sleeves add warmth, but also a very 90s look which is obviously very on trend.
StyleWe also has a sick black and white jumpsuit that I love for spring.
If you're going for a more Coachella vibe, check out the post here for hippy dress up vibes.
For the plus size gals, this is also a great source for plus size tunic tops.
Let me know if you buy anything, or any looks you're digging this almost spring! Tweet us your pics!
BootayBag was kind enough to mail me some of the cutest undies ever!
Check them out below- the first pair was a super stretchy, comfy, all lace pair of baby blue cheeky undies. The lace is super high quality, with the nicest scalloped edges. They're lined inside with the softest material ever.
The second pair was another cheeky pair with lace-up detailing on the back, and lace panels on the front. This pair was a little more- almost sporty- they're a tighter cut, more emphasis on the cheeks!
I love the packaging and aesthetic, the little brown bag is adorable and the surprises inside were even better. I can't wait for my next BootayBag!
Also, did you know that every time #undermatters is used with a photo of BootayBag's latest undies, the company donates $1 to the Melenoma Foundation. How amazing is that?
BootayBag is my new obsession- check them out in time to get February's undies!
I have a full time real people job that requires going into an office every day, and I also have a cat.
These statements are seemingly unrelated until you realize I love my furry lil bean and can't help but picking him up and snuggling his cuddly ass even when I'm dressed for work.
This leaves a less-than-professional carpet of cat hair all over me because I have no willpower and I need to snuggle animals constantly.
Obviously, I'm not going to stop hugging my cat so what's a girl to do?
Flint has been an amazing salvation. I have regular lint rollers but I rarely remember to use them and by the time I think of it, it's almost always after I've already left the house.
Flint is a retractable, reusable lint roller, and arguably the cutest lint roller I've ever seen.
My Flint is bright orange and I keep it in my work bag- it's cute and bright and I see it and remember to de-cat-hair-ify and I no longer look half-woman-half-cat.
It sounds like an idiotically simple solution, and maybe it is, but Flint has definitely become a product I use daily that improves my life- and I think that's all you can really ask of a product.
The lint roller is well designed and sturdy, comes in a ton of colors- including metallics- which you can bet (hello, rose gold) are on my wishlist.
Refills are also available making Flint the perfect choice for people on the go.
Balenciaga's Fall/Winter 17/18 line had more than a few nods to Bernie Sanders' logo on jackets and scarves. Coincidence? I think not.
Dior makes a great feminist stand at the SS17 show in September, and the world is loving it.
Read about Dior's feminist stand below via Vogue:
Among the romantic dresses and fencing-inspired suiting on the runway at Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior debut was one piece that will have the fashion world talking. A T-shirt reading We Should All Be Feminists was paired with an embellished midnight blue tulle skirt and sneakers, instantly becoming the most Instagrammed moment of the entire show. The fact that Chiuri is the first female artistic director of the Dior maison was a much-discussed fact in the lead-up to her debut—and clearly one that she took to heart. The show notes also made a point of explaining how important feminism is to Chiuri: “Feminism is a recurring word for her.” What’s more, the Beyoncé song “Flawless,” which features Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s famous TEDx talk about feminism, played on the soundtrack. And the author was in the crowd.
Turgeon Jewelers is a family owned jewelry store in Wethersfield, Connecticut. They specialize in high quality jewelry, with an inventory including everything from contemporary minimalist items to classic precious and semi-precious stones, bridal, pearls, watches and rhodium plated silver items.
Owner, Michael Turgeon consistently prides himself on providing jewelry with low overhead which allows him to offer a tremendous value to customers, as well as in –house jewelry repairs and unique special orders. Turgeon Jewelers contributes to the community through countless local philanthropic donations as well as the annual Holiday Toy Drive for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Mike and his staff create a welcoming atmosphere for all customers while holding themselves to the highest standard of professionalism and personal service. Check out the photos below for some great holiday gift ideas!
Wanderer Bracelets is the coolest brand. I'm obsessed with the adorable handmade bracelets (From Bali!) with charms made from sustainably sourced water buffalo bone. The nylon thread is soft yet durable, and the range of designs is great. It's so easy to find one (or seven) that resonate with you. I gave my mom the peace sign- it was her favorite, and she's been obsessed ever since. I love the fish hook and the 'hang loose' ones, but I also love the feather. There are so many other precious designs, and the bracelets all support the best cause!
Local Bali artisans are making a livable income thanks to Wanderer Bracelets, and now I have the most adorable jewelry. Check out the bracelets here and the Wanderer Bracelet story here!
What we're wearing.