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Online Retailer Ssense Acquires Polyvore and Immediately Shuts It Down

The days of Polyvore mood boards populating social media feeds are over.

E-commerce luxury retailer Ssense announced Thursday it has acquired the social-commerce website Polyvore from Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

Subsequently, the new owners shut down Polyvore immediately. Visitors to the Polyvore site are now rerouted to Ssense.com, and the apps are no longer supported either.

Ssense said the Polyvore community will have until May 10 to download their content from their profiles. Users also have the opportunity to “opt out” so their personal data is not shared with Ssense.

In a blog post, the Polyvore team wrote, “We believe that Ssense is the right community for the Polyvore members, and we’re inspired by their commitment to offering a directional mix of the most coveted labels in the world.”

The sale and shutdown took Polyvore users by surprise. On Twitter, community members expressed disappointment for losing the platform, which was used to express their personal style, share style tips and connect with users across the world.

In 2016, Polyvore claimed it had the “largest style community on the web,” attracting more than 20 million unique visitors per month.

The company rose to fame in 2007 before Pinterest or Instagram ever entered millennials’ vernacular. Its mission was to democratize style and provide its community with a new way to discover and shop fashion, beauty and home. The platform allowed fashion lovers to “play” designer by creating collages, or virtual mood boards, of their favorite products from retailers like Net-a-Porter, Asos, Farfetch and more, and the to shop the look.

A 2013 study by online marketing firm RichRelevance found that Polyvore was a leader for retail conversion value, outpacing Pinterest and Twitter at the time. The firm said the website attracted a different shopper, in large part because the “user experience is predicated on highly visual, catalog-like sites.”

Polyvore founders sold the platform to Yahoo in 2015 for $200 million. The site was bundled in Verizon’s 2017 acquisition of Yahoo.

It remains to be seen whether Polyvore’s primarily female audience embraces Ssense. Founded in 2003, Montreal-based Ssense sells a mix of men’s and women’s luxury, streetwear and avant-garde labels like Off-White, Levi’s and Vetements. The retailer, which currently serves 114 countries, has also expanded into content focused on fashion, music, travel and culture. However, it doesn’t offer any online community component.

Ssense describes itself as “advocating a radically new point of view on luxury” and “forging a path towards a new establishment where the intersection of creativity, content, and commerce is challenged and celebrated.”

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