How Tumblr's Head of Cultural Content Tumbled Into a Job He Didn't Know Existed

Written by
Garett Sloane
Ad Age

Feb 9, 2017

Feb 9, 2017 • Author: Garett Sloane

Valentine Uhovski has been with Tumblr for much of its young, culture-shaping existence, where he's turned a passing interest in fashion into a full-time passion job: head of cultural content at Tumblr, an essential role inside the web community that serves artists, designers, fashionistas and other creative types. That's the short version of the story.

The job basically demands spending all day on Tumblr, where Mr. Uhovski, 32, juggles nine pages dedicated to fashion and culture. There's also required attendance at events like New York Fashion Week and Art Basel in Miami, where he gets to mingle with some of the most influential people in the industry.

Head of
cultural content, Tumblr,
Fashion evangelist,
The Wall Street Journal,
Heard and Scene reporter,
Senior editor,

Mr. Uhovski said he fell into fashion "almost by accident."

"I never dreamt that I was going to work at a tech company focused on fashion," Mr. Uhovski said.

As it turned out, after attending New York City's New School, he found a job as an editor at fashion-focused digital magazine The Daily Front Row, then owned by IMG.

From there he rose through the ranks of fashion journalism, covering the industry at influential sites, niche publications and The Wall Street Journal. He helped launch Interview magazine internationally.

Then, in 2012, Mr. Uhovski landed a job as fashion evangelist at Tumblr, a title he didn't really believe existed "until I saw it in my contract," he said.

He was introduced to Tumblr as a contributor for Milk Studios' website, where one year he interviewed and took portraits of Tumblr creators during Fashion Week.

"Tumblr was looking for a new fashion head a few months later and I reached out," Mr. Uhovski recalled in an email. "I must have gone through six interviews, but all of them felt like a lively, kinetic brainstorm. I was offered a consulting gig shortly after, and in the winter of 2012, I oversaw my very first Fashion Week program before officially landing the best job I've ever had."

Tumblr, founded by David Karp, was just about to be bought by Yahoo as a billion-dollar bet on social media.

Tumblr has had its struggles, but it's maintained a community of millions of creators, many of whom are focused on culture and art. Brands and publishers also contribute, and that's where Mr. Uhovski fits into the company.

"I am working with some of the biggest artists and creators that make up the community," Mr. Uhovski said.

His favorite part of the job is helping discover young artists and then collaborating with them on "magical things" to celebrate Tumblr.

Mr. Uhovski has worked with brands like Calvin Klein, Burberry, Diesel and Chanel.

"Brands have become editorial forces," he said. "The coolest thing about that is to populate their own Tumblr pages, brands take a lot of Tumblr artists who we helped propel."

In 2015, he joined Mr. Karp at the Met Gala in New York, and introduced the boss to Kanye West, whom he'd met before in Paris, Mr. Uhovski said. They also met Beyoncé at the event.

"That was insane," Mr. Uhovski said. "I got to actually talk with A-List, Tumblr-loving celebrities in person. That was really cool."

So what advice does Mr. Uhovski have for anyone looking for a job where they can impress their CEO with an introduction to Kanye West?

Meet every relevant person in the company

"When you interview for the job, you want to meet a lot of people, and you want to project your passions but also you want to listen to people."

Come in with big ideas

"I brainstormed in the middle of the interview. And they were open to having someone come in who truly understood the vertical and was ready to come in and execute right away."

The article How Tumblr's Head of Cultural Content Tumbled Into a Job He Didn't Know Existed first appeared on Advertising Age. 

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