Cleveland native has sole

Ryan Haber, designer of “Glamorous” (below), the shoe that Carrie Underwood wore at the 2011 Country Music Awards. Photos courtesy of aLine Media.

Missy Pasquale

Next time you’re wandering around campus wondering where your degree might take you, remember this name: Ryan Haber.

A former Kent State student and graduate of Cleveland Institute of Art, Haber is now one of the “most wanted” designers of 2011, according to LifeStyle magazine.

Haber began his college career as a Kent State student studying business, though he wasn’t really sure why. To him, a business degree was a stable degree to obtain, but he longed for a more creative atmosphere.

“I knew I always wanted to do some kind of design,” Haber said.

After doing a short stint at Ohio State studying architecture, he settled down at Cleveland Institute of Art to study interior design. Taking the architectural design concepts he was studying in his interior design classes, Haber began to sketch women’s shoes, a passion he was not aware he had before.

His curiosity became a career path in the summer of 2009 when he interned at Steve Madden LTD. According to Haber’s official website, after completing a second internship with BCBGMAXAZRIA in Los Angeles in the summer of 2010, Haber graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with “creativity, drive and dedication to his new found love of shoes.”

“It was challenging to start building a brand,” Haber said. But as the company’s owner, designer, trend forecaster and product developer, he has a passion that surpasses the challenge.

After personally selecting an Italian factory that was able to produce the “high-quality product” he wanted, Haber was able to ignite his brand with a product that met his standards as well as the approval of women.

Haber has since opened a showroom in Los Angeles where fashion stylists can come in to borrow shoes from his collection for their celebrity clients. The most notable celebrity collaboration for Haber occurred when Carrie Underwood sported Haber’s black and white “Glamorous” shoe as she hosted the Country Music Awards in November.

“I didn’t know if she was going to wear them or not; I only knew her stylist borrowed them,” Haber said. “But then I was watching the show, and the opening eight minutes she was in my shoes. I went nuts. It was surreal.”

Since Underwood’s endorsement of the brand, The Ryan Haber Collection has been flourishing, from being featured in magazines such as People’s Style Watch and In-Touch Weekly to designing a shoe worn by Pandora Vanderpump, the daughter of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump, at her wedding.

“It has been so amazing since the CMAs,” Haber said. “Who knows what will come next.”

Like what you see? Currently, the Ryan Haber Collection is limited to upscale department stores and boutiques in larger metropolitan areas, but this spring will mark the opening of Ryan Haber Collection’s website for online shoppers. All products available in the Ryan Haber Collection are Italian-made, run up to a size 12 and range from $450 to $700.

Contact Missy Pasquale at [email protected].