Getting Creative at Fashion Week: Polyvore's Savvy Partnerships
It just makes sense that members of Polyvore, the largest fashion community on the Web, would be clamoring for access to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. Those tickets are tough to score, even for the well-connected fashionista. Thanks to a few strategic partnerships, though, Polyvore made the dream a reality for five of its community members and connected thousands of others to the fervor of the events. And listen carefully -- over the sound of collective squealing, Polyvore's coffers are a-jingling with the bright sound of revenue generated from these savvy sponsorships.
By landing coveted collaborators and generating engaging contests, Polyvore is leveraging MBFW to boost its membership and its profile among fashion brands -?€" both integral parts of its monetization model. The response to the contests has been stellar, according to Polyvore's co-founder and head of product development Jess Lee. She told me it's also spurred Polyvore to create an analytics tool for brands to measure results.
For instance, remember when I reported on Rebecca Minkoff's hookup with the Polyvore community back in November? Polyvore users were invited to compete to design the indie accessories brand's next "Morning After Clutch" to be sold this spring. Over 4,000 users vied to create the winning bag and see it trot down the runway at MBFW in person.
For her debut at MBFW, Minkoff turned to the Polyvore community last month to find a stylist for her show. The winner ?€"- an L.A. college student -?€" is working with Minkoff directly to prepare for the runway show.
Lee told me Polyvore does see a spike in unique visitors when these collaborations take place. But they also serve its goal to democratize fashion and provide a vehicle to offer actual industry experiences for the creators.
As a result, they generate a great deal of social media buzz and attention. Whether it's through community challenges or big partnerships, we're constantly making sure that our community is engaged because they are a huge part of Polyvore's success.
Ditto for the contest in which a Polyvore member could dress Bergdorf Goodman's fashion director Linda Fargo for Fashion Week and sit with her at the Michael Kors show. Over 5,300 entries poured in for that one.
Both Bergdorf Goodman and Rebecca Minkoff experienced a great deal of brand uplift on Polyvore as a result of their partnerships with us. The collaborations are officially over but our creators are still actively engaging with their products on Polyvore. We recently launched a contest analytics tool where brands and retailers can track the success of their partnerships with us. For instance, Rebecca Minkoff's products have been seen over 16 million times on Polyvore.
And team Polyvore has worked out a way to make past contests the gift that keeps on giving. In collaboration with The New York Times T Magazine last year, designer Prabal Gurung debuted pieces from his Spring 2011 collection to online consumers before the actual runway show. Leveraging the sneak peek, Polyvore held a contest featuring Gurung's collections in which two winners were chosen by the designer to see his New York show and tour his atelier.
It was an innovative "Fashion Week First" because it offered Polyvore creators the chance to have an exclusive look at Gurung's Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Our creators had the opportunity to style items from his collection before his runway show. Prabal Gurung is a social media savvy designer and this partnership allowed our global community to virtually participate in New York Fashion Week.
Both high-end department stores and independent designers experience the challenges of reaching a wider audience. So far, Polyvore's proving to be the great connector.
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