The Rise of Instagram's Virtual Stylists
Earlier this year, the cult favorite website Polyvore was shut down, leaving fashion-lovers bereft of a social media platform through which to create and share collages and collections. Although some users turned to lesser-known alternatives, it comes as no surprise that many former Polyvore users found a new home for collage making on Instagram.
Enter the Instagram virtual stylist. Often recognized by their @styleby[username], they are the chic, older brother/sister to the Instagram mood-board account. While both deal in composing aesthetically-minded collages, the mood-board community is comprised mostly of teens under eighteen, whereas the upper age limit of the virtual stylist hovers in the early-to-mid-twenties.
Although the displacement of Polyvore’s creatives many not have necessarily engendered the rise of the Instagram virtual stylist, the demise of the former and the rise of the latter has been fairly continuous. But credit must also be given to the totalizing power of Instagram itself as the platform par excellence for all things fashion–from brand marketing to an insider news source. Its success, much like Polyvore’s, can be attributed to its ability to democratize the not-so-long-ago inaccessible world of fashion, allowing anyone to try their hand at playing editor or stylist. Although the loss of Polyvore is a tragic one, platforms like Instagram continue to bear the torch for facilitating access to the world of high fashion.
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