Video Interview: Why Polyvore Is More Than Just Fashion

Polyvore, a fast-growing fashion community site, is in the interesting position of pushing forward both search and user-generated content creation at the same time. The company this week announced it was bringing in a new high-profile CEO, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, a former long-time Google (s GOOG) exec. In advance of her actual start date next Monday, Singh Cassidy stopped by our office to share some fascinating stats and observations about the company.

Here’s why Polyvore — which raised $8.1 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, Harrison Metal Capital and Matrix Partners — should catch your eye, even if you’re not interested in fashion:

* The site is building a vast user-generated index of products, with members clipping products from around the web (and capturing associated metadata) in order to collect them in fashion collages (aka “sets”). It now indexes products from more than 10,000 sources — far more than you could feasibly get via individual API integrations.

* Expressing yourself creatively online is something that’s become infinitely easier in the last 10 years, but not everyone takes great photos or makes coherent videos. Creating a collage of products can be a lot more accessible than painting on a virtual blank canvas. Further, pictures of clothing and other products are cross-cultural. Singh Cassidy says in the interview that more than half of Polyvore’s traffic comes from outside of the U.S.

The site grew to 6 million uniques last year from 1.5 million The vast majority of users consume content rather than create it, said Singh Cassidy, though it sees 30,000 new sets created daily. It has 140 million page views per month, 22 million of them from embedded sets, which are often found on fashion blogs. Singh Cassidy spoke of opportunities to monetize (the site already has brand ads and affiliate relationships) by enabling contests for brands, for instance — a recent promotion on Coach’s Facebook fan page encouraged users to make Polyvore sets out of Coach products, then featured finalists for other fans to vote on them, she said.