This post is a very sad one for me… and actually I am absolutely outrageous! Many of you always commented of the collages I do to highlight my different blog articles, especially for my outfit posts I have loved doing them. They kind of make my blog look different from others. The platform I used for it was POLYVORE, an online community where you could create fashion, art and interior mood boards in a very fun way, so much easier than Photoshop. I had visited the team many years ago in the San Francisco area and was amazed by their innovative team spirit. Actually, POLYVORE made me start my blog. I joined the site around 11 years ago and was immediately hooked by it. You could share your fashion sense and even enter several contests. After having won one with Marc Jacobs where I got a handbag, I thought that those collages would be the perfect way to create my blog in a very illustrative way and I started Sandra’s Closet in November 2009. Even my mum got hooked, she became very successful with art sets and was so happy to communicate with different members around the globe.
My first post from November 23, 2009 started with a Polyvore set.
Last Thursday evening, I was in bed working on my newest outfit post. During the past days, I didn’t have a lot of time due to my daughter’s birthday and the whole family visiting that I was happy to finally being back to blogging. Creating those mood boards on POLYVORE was one of the most relaxing activities for me, you could say, I was addicted and it was actually the most fun part of Sandra’s Closet for me. I also used it to organize all my outfits. All my clothes and accessories were arranged in different folders with years and comments. Sometimes, I would pack my suitcase by putting outfits together virtually on POLYVORE.
I modeled in the Polyvore Live Runway Show presented by Covergirl during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC in 2012.
But what happened that I am writing this… While I was in bed, the site started to crash. I thought it had a bug as this had happened before and messaged my mum if she was experiencing the same troubles which she confirmed. So I shut down my computer and went to sleep. The next morning, the site was gone. I started googling and actually almost fainted reading the news. POLYVORE got sold and its new owner Ssense shut down the site and its mood boards with no notice. Ssense, a luxury e-commerce company, said it had acquired the digital fashion database and search engine from Verizon subsidiary Oath Inc., and immediately began rerouting POLYVORE visitors to its homepage. All the work of 11 years gone. You will be wondering to find now some white spaces in older blog posts where the pictures were linked directly to POLYVORE and what makes me even more furious those empty pictures lead now to Ssense. They are using my traffic without my permission! This has to be against the law! Moreover, I am not the only one feeling betrayed. It is so unprofessional to just shut down the community without any warning. I am absolutely convinced that many members would have paid a monthly fee as a subscription model to stay on the site and to make it profitabel. On the POLYVORE blog, a post was released where the company said «we’re excited to share our directional collection of the most coveted labels in the world.» It also shared directions for Polyvore users to download their content and messages, with a deadline of May 10 which doesn’t work at all. It just shows a white page. I will fight to get my personal data and mood boards back which Ssense stole it from me. Members of the site, the so-called Polyfam (Polyvore family), responded with a gazillion of tweets decrying the move, as well as several online petitions asking Montreal-based Ssense to reverse its decision #BringBackPolyvore.
Together with Polyvore I hosted the More Than a Feeling with Swarovski Contest.
Shutting down POLYVORE without a warning is one of the most unprofessional moves I have experienced in my working career. There was no forewarning at all, and no consultation of it’s users, giving them time to exchange contacts and to get their data or even delete it. I think what they have forgotten was who made POLYVORE happen on a daily base – it was us, the users, and Ssense should really think about starting their new venture not with this bad energy. Karma is a bitch – good luck!
And I am working on my Photoshop skills in the meantime…
Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht, via Polyvore