ARLIS/NA Fashion Design Competencies draft

During February’s ARLIS/NA conference, a Research and Information Services Section team held an editing workshop for the new draft of the Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines. After incorporating workshop feedback, we’re close to having a draft to send to the Executive Board. As the primary author of the Fashion Design competencies, I wanted to include my portion of the draft here and welcome feedback on the content of the competencies from the SIG.

Everyone should be able to comment on the Google Doc from that link, but please email me at avincent17(at)gmail(dot)com if you’re not able to make comments. Please submit your feedback by Friday, June 1.

Resource Share: What Subject Headings are used for Materials on Clothing

I came across the blog post, “What Subject Headings are used for Materials on Clothing”, by Carolyn J. McCallum (Wake Forest University). This blog post was the answer to the question, “what subject headings are used for materials on clothing?”. The post lives on the The Anthropology and Sociology Section of ACRL’s Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee blog. I found it interesting and I thought it would be of interest to my fellow SIG members. Enjoy!


New York Textile Month returns September 2018

Are You Interested in Bringing Back the
Knowledge and Use of Textiles?

New York Textile Month is a month-long, city-wide festival designed to celebrate textile creativity and promote textile awareness.

The 3rd edition of NYTM will be held from September 1st to September 30th to bring together the community that has been working hard to rehabilitate the use of textiles and experience a return of the use of textiles and their cultural expressions. While the rules remain the same, we have been working our hardest to make the 3rdedition even more interactive, informative, and engaging than the preceding. We would love your input for possible events, talks, walks, demonstrations, or exhibitions that you think would add value to the experience.

We are very excited that NYTM is growing every year, and we can’t wait to have you be a part of its development.

E-mail us if you want to join the 2018 agenda!
We welcome producers, designers, retailers, artists and educators.



Last minute update – webinar: How Digital Material Libraries Can Transform Product Development

My apologies for the last-minute update, but this looks very useful for our members:

Webinar: How Digital Material Libraries Can Transform Product Development

Hosts:   Sourcing Journal & PTC

Description:  Today’s product lifecycle management and storyboarding tools empower retailers with the speed and knowledge associated with digital capabilities, yet many product developers still refer to physical swatch books to identify the appropriate materials.
In this webinar, our panel will discuss how retailers can tap into digital materiallibraries to:
  • Achieve quicker development speeds with virtual prototypes
  • Reduce the guesswork inherent in selecting fabrics that meet your cost, availability, quality and compliance requirements
  • Consolidate decision making across design, product development and sourcing to empower your team
Date: Tuesday, May 15
Time: 2:00 PM ET | 11:00 AM PT
  • Brion Carroll, VP, Retail & Consumer Global Business Development, PTC
  • Eric Linxwiler, Senior VP, Americas, CBX Software
  • Chris Hillyer, Director of Innovation, Deckers Brands
  • Edward Hertzman, President, Sourcing Journal Media (moderator)


Polyvore and the Case of the Disappearing Data

“Polyvore is Not Coming Back,” confirmed Racked less than one week after the popular platform for creating online collages and inspiration boards was shut down. After its closure in early April 2018, Polyvore’s shut down catalyzed confusion, distress, and anger throughout the “#PolyFam.”

Claiming to have the “largest style community on the web,” Polyvore allowed users to create collages of clothing & accessories from a variety of online retailers, such as Asos and Net-a-Porter. Users said that this feature allowed them to find and explore designers and trends that were either out of their comfort zone, or were too expensive for their lifestyle. Allowing users to interact with aspirational goods strengthened Polyvore’s user base; in 2016, the website attracted “more than 20 million unique users per month.”

Following its acquisition by Ssense, Polyvore users were only given one month – from April 5th through May 10th, 2018 – to download their collages representing years (for some, over a decade) of inspiration. In this time period, users also had the opportunity to opt out of a data transfer of their usernames, email addresses, and “other Polyvore data.” Yet, in their apology to the Polyvore community, Ssense declared that they do not “have the ability to bring the website or its functionalities back.”

The PolyFam – the name bestowed upon the Polyvore community – continues to question why and how Ssense could have been so careless with their community. Though each member is able to download their personal collages, Polyvore users lose the context of each creation as well as the comments and discussions surrounding them. Ssense’s dismantling of an active, longstanding community and their insistence that there is no way to get it back destroys the larger context in which each individual creation is made.

This leads me to question how we, as librarians, can support born-digital communities such as Polyvore that host creative works which are dependent on a website’s existing structures. Is it possible to offer archival support to living communities that change minute-by-minute? Especially because, in the case of Polyvore, we’d want to preserve the communities themselves in addition to the content. And, most importantly, who is going to pay for it?

We must remember that we are often hired as support systems for physical communities (public institutions, universities, museums, etc.), but we do not normally have the opportunity to operate in the same capacity for online communities. As we consider these questions – for which there may not be strict answers – I end with one more question: how can we move toward supporting online communities in the future, and what opportunities can we create for ourselves?

Further Reading:
“Online Retailer Ssense Acquires Polyvore and Immediately Shuts It Down,” Sourcing Journal
“Polyvore is Not Coming Back,” Racked.
“Polyvore Users Mourn One of Fashion’s Most Creative Online Communities,” Dazed
“SSENSE Apologizes to Polyvore Users Over Recent Acquisition,” Hypebeast.
“Some Big News for our Polyfam,” Polyvore.