Polyvore, the community-powered shopping website, will no longer exist. On Thursday, the company announced that it has been acquired by the global fashion platform and retailer SSENSE, writing: "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."
Founded in 2003, Montreal-based SSENSE sells products from a wide array of indie, luxury and streetwear designers, and produces its own original, high-quality editorial content. Thus far, details are scarce on how SSENSE will welcome Polyvore's friendly community (which is apparently known as the "polyfam") onto its own site.
Polyvore originally set out to democratize style and create a new way for online consumers to discover and shop for everything from clothes to home decor items. During its 11-year run, Polyvore has become a leading social shopping site with millions of users participating in making and sharing virtual mood boards and digital collages of their favorite fashion items from across the web. With the immediate closure of the website and app, users will have until May 10 to request a download of their creations and will have until May 15 to retrieve the downloaded content.
According to the impassioned comments on Instagram, members of the Polyfam are not exactly thrilled with the decision. "I'm crying right now this was my stress free zone and my me time. I had friends there and you took it all away they are gone just gone," one user wrote. "Honestly I could have gotten more of a heads up on the actual site or something more because I've been on there for fours years and made many sets and friendships. Not only that but with all my descriptions (whether that be poetry or just rants) were also hard work and now I get to see it flushed down the drain. Honestly I'm actually sad," another user said.
The infuriated comments prove that this was truly a special website, one that established a tight-knit virtual space for people from all over the world to bond over a shared love of fashion, decor and beauty. The company closed its farewell blog post by expressing gratitude for its loyal users: "We want to thank you, our committed global community of members — people who we've had relationships with over so many years — watching your tastes evolve, sharing your sets and building your communities alongside you. Thank you for being such a passionate part of our community, sharing your creativity, and expressing your style."
UPDATE, April 11, 8:39 a.m.: On Tuesday, SSENSE posted an apology to the Polyvore community on Instagram, saying "While it was not our decision to shut down Polyvore, we handled things badly." The post then assured Polvyore users that SSENSE has not received their personal data and will only get their username, email address and email preferences should the users not opt out of a data transfer before May 15.
SSENSE went on to explain that it's working with Polyvore's parent company to resolve any technical difficulties that users are currently experiencing when trying to download their content from the site. "Unfortunately we do not have the ability to bring the website or its functionalities back," the post continued. "We acknowledge the passion and creativity of the Polyvore community and we're sincerely sorry."
You can read the full apology statement below.