Women to Watch 2010

Women to Watch: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

CEO, Polyvore

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- You may not have heard of Polyvore -- yet. It's a safe bet that will change, now that Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is at the helm of the fashion start-up.

Ms. Singh Cassidy's goal is twofold: to evolve e-commerce for soft goods and build a powerful women's brand. Polyvore, a fashion 2.0 company founded in 2007, sits at the intersection of design, fashion and e-commerce. It's part fashion magazine, part online retailer, with the glossy-product shot and curated appeal of editorial paired with the utility of e-commerce. To boot, it's all user-created and social-media plugged in.

"I joined Polyvore to make a long-term impact on the company, its users and the category of soft goods and commerce online," Ms. Singh Cassidy said. In addition to past experience with start-ups and Silicon Valley heavyweights such as Google and Amazon, she's hardly a stranger to fashion -- she is also a board member for J. Crew.

Users come to Polyvore's website to design "sets," or digital collages of clothes and accessories. Each item included in these mash-ups of myriad brands and products from across the web links back to price points and sites to purchase from. The site's more than 6 million unique visitors comment on each others sets, "like" them and can e-mail or post sets to blogs. It all adds up to about 140 million page views per month, and Polyvore collects revenue from both brand advertising and affiliate fees on purchases driven from the site.

Ms. Singh Cassidy, 40, joined Polyvore in March from Accel Partners, where she was CEO-in-residence. She joined the venture capital firm after leaving Google, which she joined in 2003 as general manager for Google Local & Maps, eventually becoming president of the search giant's Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations. She was responsible for all Google's commercial endeavors in those regions and expanded its presence in 103 countries.

She said she left Google "to go back to building things." Before Google, she co-founded the online banking and financial application start-up Yodlee, which was backed by Accel.

"I wanted to take a left turn and do it in the women's category," she said.

It looks like Polyvore will also benefit from Ms. Singh Cassidy's global perspective. The site already is a global destination with leading markets including the U.K., Germany and Japan.

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