The Power of Love

USD alumna Hannah Payne


At the age of five, Hannah Payne ‘12 (BA) was already piecing together her future. From organizing neighborhood fashion shows to viewing each day of elementary school as a chance to showcase her own personal style, her ultimate career path was no accident.

It came to her by way of her grandmother, a Yugoslavian immigrant and concentration camp survivor named Luba, which means “love.” That legacy lives on through Luba by Hannah Payne, a ready-to-wear women’s fashion line that spreads the power of love.

A Denver, Colorado. native, Payne says that she found USD to be a “stunning place to figure out who I was meant to be.”

As a student, her junior-year semester abroad experience took her to Florence, Italy, where she enrolled in every design class available. There, she created her first garment and then watched with awe and exhilaration as her black lace scalloped dress walked an Italian runway. There was no going back.

During senior year, Payne enrolled in a social entrepreneurship business course. Her final project was to create a business idea that could be economically successful while making a positive social impact. Her inspiration was Luba.

After graduation, Payne attended Parsons School of Design, then moved back to Colorado. With few options for a fashion career there, Payne revisited her business model from college. Luba by Hannah Payne was born.

Payne sees the brand as more statement than clothing line. With the desire to both inspire confidence and spread love, she created the Luba Love Foundation. Motivated by working in a domestic violence shelter while at USD, the foundation provides lasting change for women overcoming the cycle of domestic violence. A portion of every sale goes to local women’s shelters.

Today, Luba has morphed from a college project to a growing brand. While Payne admits that there have been difficult times along the way, giving up was never an option. “I’ve just had to climb those mountains,” she says.

Payne sees every piece she designs as not only a reflection of herself, but of those who’ve come before her and those still to come.

“This is part of my soul, my passion, my identity,” she says. — Allyson Meyer ’16

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