It’s not always easy to keep tabs on fashion’s fast-moving trends and before you know it someone is starting a trend without even realizing it. Remix is a new iPhone app just recently released by Polyvore, is the company’s latest attempt to form a bridge between runway inspiration and customer click.
“We pull out the best trends, make it fun and easy to browse, and also show you how to wear it,” says CEO Jess Lee. “It’s almost like having a stylist in your pocket.”
The app couldn’t have come at a better time for Polyvore, which was featured in Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies list in 2012. What was once a small startup has won over a core community of power users willing to spend time styling new looks, but has struggled to attract and retain a broader audience. Because of this, Plyvore felt more of a game that a practical tool.
With Remix, Polyvore is betting that it can use its suave of style data to help women make practical decisions about whether to hit “buy” or how to restyle a tired closet staple.
“This app is geared toward shoppers who want that instant styling advice,” Lee says.
But will Remix be enough to carry Polyvore?
The company launched in 2007 and has since raised $22.1 million by building around the concept of user-generated fashion collages.
“Style is always changing, always evolving,” says Lee, who rose from product manager to her current role. “In order to understand that you have to combine the best of what people think, through the community, with algorithms, which allow you to do it at scale.”
For a time, Polyvore offered its users a more professional type of play, it represented real people with real fashion instinct.
Last month, the company attracted 20 million unique visitors, which was the same amount they logged at this time last year. Its like their growth was stunned.
Potential users are spending their time elsewhere, as retailers up their content publishing game. At one time Polyvore was among a handful of innovators blurring the lines between editorial and e-commerce, but now that strategy has become commonplace.
Remix is still invite-only, but the does app show promise.
“Style today, especially the fashion industry, upholds this kind of narrow and almost unattainable ideal for beauty,” Lee says. “Instead of being top-down, we’re very bottom-up, so our community can express their sense of style.” Above all, she says, “You don’t have to look a certain way to feel good.”