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Type of site
Social Commerce
Created by Helen Zhu, Corinne Chan, Richard Ho
Launched 2008
Current status Active

Chictopia is an online fashion site based in San Francisco.[1][2] The website is designed for fashion enthusiasts and bloggers to create profiles, post outfits, set up online shops, and socialize with others interested in fashion.[3] The site currently has over 255,000 users and more than 13 million page views per month.[4][5]


Chictopia was founded by Helen Zhu, Corinne Chan, and Richard Ho in 2008.[6][7] Zhu and Chan both attended University of California Berkeley, with Zhu graduating in mechanical engineering and Chan electrical engineering and computer science.[8] Prior to Chictopia, Zhu worked for eight years in the web industry as a product manager, Chan as a software engineer and systems architect, and Ho as an integrated circuit designer.[9][10]

Brand partnership[edit]

In 2009, the clothing brand American Apparel featured several active Chictopia users as models as part of an ad campaign that ran on the site and elsewhere titled, "Our Friends from Chictopia."[11][12][13] In 2011, Chictopia ran its first “Influential Blogger of the Year” competition featuring eight rising fashion bloggers. In 2013, Chictopia held a social shopping event with American Apparel and Crossroads Trading Co. called “Shop it Like it’s Hot” in the SoMa District of San Francisco.[14]


The website is designed for users interested in fashion and looking to refine and showcase their personal style.[15] Users upload outfit photos, describe their physical traits, and connect to other users who share similar body types, complexion, and style. Users can get an idea of how clothes would look on themselves and how to style them in a relatable way, as opposed to fashion models.[15]

Zhu has said she wants Chictopia to be what YouTube has been for filmmakers and what Myspace has been for musicians.[15][16][17]

Teen Vogue named Chictopia "The Next Big Thing" shortly after its founding.[18][19] Nylon lists the website in its "Top 4 Style Sites."[20] Women’s Wear Daily named Chictopia “Top six sites to watch”, along with Polyvore, Foursquare, and three others in 2010.[21]


  1. ^ Rafkin, Louise (June 11, 2010). "Helen Zhu and Richard Ho". New York Times.
  2. ^ Kincaid, Jason (July 23, 2008). "Chictopia Takes On Sugar Inc With "Everybody is Ugly"". TechCrunch.
  3. ^ Slink, Missy (May 16, 2010). "Chictopia - a New Approach for Fashion". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.[unreliable source?]
  4. ^ "Chictopia About". Chictopia.
  5. ^ Perry, Caroline (February 2013). "How social media changed the face of fashion". Palatinate.
  6. ^ "Chictopia CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase.
  7. ^ "Chictopia LinkedIn". LinkedIn.
  8. ^ "Tricks of the trade: Chictopia". UC Berkeley Engineering Alumni Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-01-17.
  9. ^ "Helen Zhu About". Chictopia.
  10. ^ "Corinne Chan About". Chictopia.
  11. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer (January 20, 2009). "Chictopia Chicks Become American Apparel Models". Mashable.
  12. ^ "American Apparel Now Sponsoring Bloggers & Porn Stars (NSFW)". Jezebel. January 20, 2009.
  13. ^ Hall, Steve (January 20, 2009). "American Apparel Hooks Up With Chictopia Bloggers". Ad Rants.
  14. ^ "Chictopia Presents: Shop It Like It's Hot". SF Gate.
  15. ^ a b c Taylor, Alana (June 11, 2008). " Real People Can Be Models Too". Mashable.
  16. ^ Haegwan, Kim (August 2, 2010). "An Interview with Helen Zhu". Laws of Success 2.0.
  17. ^ Jacob, Jennine. "Chictopia Now : An interview with Helen Zhu". Independent Fashion Bloggers.
  18. ^ "Next Big Thing: Snap to It". Teen Vogue. July 16, 2008.
  19. ^ "Next Big Thing: Snap to It". Teen Vogue. July 16, 2008.
  20. ^ "Nylon Loves Chictopia". Nylon. October 27, 2008.
  21. ^ Corcoran, Cate. "Sites to Friend in 2010". Women's Wear Daily.

External links[edit]