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Ryan Babenzien - Path to 'GREATS'-ness

“Growing up in East Islip Long Island was great, just 45 miles east of the city but far enough away to get lost in the woods,” recalls Ryan Babenzien, found and CEO of GREATS. GREATS is a men’s sneaker brand born in Brooklyn, passionate about building the best footwear at the best price.  

Beginning his early career path at Fordham University as an Economics major with intentions of working on Wall Street, Babenzien realized it wasn’t worth it to do something he did not love just for the money. “After graduating, I scraped up some money and moved to LA knowing no one and got my first job at a talent agency.” After being a manager and representing actors for a few years, Babenzien decided to leave the industry and became the Head of Entertainment Marketing at Puma. “I was then recruited to join KSWISS to help revive the brand. We did some amazing things from a marketing standpoint. I built the Billy Reid x Kswiss collaboration which is still there today.”

The idea to start his own company had been in the back of his mind for years, but finally, over a Christmas holiday, Babenzien and friend/business partner Jon Buscemi decided to build a proper business plan. They met with several investors who loved their idea and they never looked back. And so began Babenzien’s path to 'Greats'-ness.

Ryan Babenzien can be found walking the streets of Williamsburg, where he resides and where the GREATS headquarters is located. He loves early morning workouts at McCarren Park with his girlfriend, grabbing some good food at many of the amazing spots such as Egg, Smorgasborg, Cafe Mogador, or House of Small Wonders. His ideal Saturday night includes dinner at one of his favorite spots Antica Pessa, followed by a nightcap at either Wythe Hotel or Kinfolk.

Follow Ryan on Instagram: @ryanbbabenzien

Follow CADET on Instagram: @cadetusa


Ryan Babenzien photographed in the Officer Shirt in white oxford and Admiral Shorts in heather red. Additionally pictured in the Boot Camp Sweatshirt in black pique and Aviator Pant in olive ripstop.   Shoes by GREATS.

Photographed in Brooklyn by Menelik Puryear.

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