One year after Detention: Launching a Daring Men’s Fashion Line

You never know where a friendship with an asylee will take you. My friendship with Asylee TJ Hyde, landed this Modern-Day Church Lady front and center at a menswear show during New York Fashion Week. 

Just eighteen months ago, TJ was sitting in a county jail, awaiting his asylum hearing. Sadly, many people seeking asylum are held in county jails while they wait months for their hearings, even though they have committed no crime.

Even in jail, TJ’s creative juices were flowing. Here are a few sketches from TJ’s time in the county jail.

TJ was granted asylum in August 2016. Fast forward to February 2018, TJ is launching an edgy new menswear line as part of his eponymous Sylvian HydeTM brand. TJ and his co-founder, Jabari Chambers, have positioned the line for “men who live an active, fashionable and exemplary life of contribution!”

Jabari Chambers, Co-Founder, Sylvian Hyde Menswear
Jabari Chambers, Co-Founder of Sylvian Hyde Menswear

TJ and Jabari orchestrated a full-fledged fashion show at the Fulton Center WeWork that was part of the official New York Fashion Week schedule. The show received a positive review from The Garnette Report. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the event.

The Models Get Ready

The models in make-up and in the dressing room 

Blond Model with Makeup Artist-0412
African American model with black suspenders and white slacks

The Crowds Builds

The Sylvian Hyde collection drew a large crowd of fashionably dressed fans. 

Woman in green glasses and furry jacket
Large crowd at the fashion show
man in large glasses and man with red hat at fashion show
TJ Friend Paris, young man in beret

The DJ Pumps Up the Audience

Fashion show DJ in plaid shirt

The models on parade

Church Ladies Glam it Up

Here is the Modern-Day Church Lady (MCL) with her fellow MCL, Emelie. 

The Men Behind the Clothes Take a Bow…

And the Modern-Day Church Lady Gets in on the Act

Paying it Forward

One of the most gratifying moments for me was seeing TJ paying it forward by  encouraging the three fashion interns who helped at his show to pursue their dreams. He had been working day and night for months and surely deserved to kick back and enjoy his moment.

But like the men Sylvian Hyde brand clothes are designed for, TJ is living an “exemplary life of contribution.” 

Fashion Intern TJ show
Interns at the Sylvian Hyde Menswear Show