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  • Ryan Dowd

    Product Design Consultant, Brand Strategist

    Indianapolis, IN

I love solving problems- problems for the consumer and and the brands I've worked for. I've been helping various brands break into new categories and re-establish other foundations since 1997. Innovative product doesn't just occur, it's the result of thinking through the issue at hand, working through solutions and following through proper steps to make concepts and ideas become something tangible. I understand these steps and know how to execute the design process; The products that I've designed that have made it to market reinforce this belief. Granted, the design and development process is only one part of making a successful products real, but it is an important part. I helped Teva by designing their first closed toe and insulated products back in early 2000...They're now much more than a sandal brand with a few shoes...but a complete brand. I'm glad to have played a role in that change. When I met with LFI's Product Development team in the fall of 2003, they thought that my design style might be too athletic for their brand...but in the first season, I took what I understood about their brand to help design the Danner TFX platform and corresponding uppers. In 2005, the Instigator was released, in 2006, the GTX 453 was released...as well as versions of that platform in uniform and work. Products in that series are still in line today. Designing products that help brands forge a new direction, yet stand the test of time, is something that I've always strived to do. Assessing a brand's equity in the market, then combining that with new manufacturing techniques and current trends, helps create solutions that meet the needs of the consumer as well as provide the foundation for what's to come for that brand. I currently am a Senior footwear designer for Wolverine helping the brand forge a bold, new design direction as I work in a number of categories in footwear in a wide range of retail prices. I enjoy the process of design and savor seeing an idea come to fruition, but I value the people and relationships that I've gained within the industry more than any project I've ever worked on. I'm thankful for the many friends and connections I've gained in the 20 years that I've been in the footwear industry.

Work Samples

  • Footwear ideation

  • Sport Casual

  • Rugged

Work History

  • Senior Footwear Designer

    • Wolverine
    • Rockford, MI
    • Feb 2014 - Present (3 years 9 months)
  • Partner/Designer

    • Blue Sky Creative Group, Inc.
    • Nov 1999 - Present (18 years)

    Director of product design consultancy. We design great product while working with even better people.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • Motorfist
    • Dec 2013 - Jun 2014 (6 months)

    Provide design and development direction while working with the in-house team at MotorFist on new and existing initiatives.

  • Equipment & Accessory Design Consultant

    • Wilson Sporting Goods
    • Oct 2007 - May 2014 (6 years 7 months)

    Design men's & women's athletic equipment, footwear and accessories including signature product for Roger Federer.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • Wolverine World Wide brands
    • Aug 2012 - Oct 2013 (1 year 2 months)

    Bolstering the already strong performance and casual footwear lines with new and innovative solutions.

  • Creative Director

    • 8eighty
    • Feb 2012 - Sep 2013 (1 year 7 months)

    Helped lay the groundwork for an upstart surf and beach lifestyle brand...designed packaging, catalogs, advertisements and apparel while overseeing overall direction of the brand. Visited retailers, end users and professional surfers to research their reaction to product and learn more about future product direction.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. (LFI)
    • Apr 2002 - Oct 2012 (10 years 6 months)

    Designed hunting, hiking, uniform and insulated footwear for both the LaCrosse and Danner Footwear brands.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Jul 2010 - May 2012 (1 year 10 months)

    Designed lifestyle footwear, helped Polo break into a new category, traveled to factories in the Far East to aid in the development and execution of the new line.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • The Timberland Company
    • Jul 2009 - Dec 2011 (2 years 5 months)

    Design in-line hiking and casual outdoor footwear.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • R. G. Barry
    • Feb 2007 - Sep 2009 (2 years 7 months)

    Design casual and comfort footwear for various brands and licensees.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • 5.11 Tactical
    • Dec 2006 - Sep 2009 (2 years 9 months)

    Worked with internal team members to create range of footwear for 5.11. Helped 5.11 forge into new footwear categories.

  • Creative Director

    • Aura Footwear
    • Feb 2005 - May 2008 (3 years 3 months)

    Directed the brand's creative direction. Developed & designed performance running shoes and corresponding packaging, printed marketing materials and collateral.

  • Footwear Design Consultant

    • Teva (A division of Deckers, Inc.)
    • Jan 2000 - Jul 2005 (5 years 6 months)

    Designed aqua-centric footwear, insulated footwear, sandals and casual footwear along with the in-house team at Teva.

  • Consultant Designer

    • Etonic Footwear
    • 2003 - 2004 (1 year)

    Designed line of performance running shoes.

  • Footwear Designer

    • Puma AG
    • Oct 1997 - Nov 1999 (2 years 1 month)

    Designed, cleated, outdoor and running footwear for various international segments.


  • Purdue University

    • SLA Industrial Design
    • 1993 - 1997

    History Minor



Designed Backpacker magazine's 2006 Best Buy, 2005 Running Network's Best Buy and 2002 Polartec's Apex Footwear Award