Style Icon: Mark Hyde

Master Stylist, Salon U

by Tracy James Robinson

Photography by Chuck St. John

Photographer, Chuck St. John; Stylist, Tracy James Robinson. All clothing & accessories from Icon’s’ own wardrobe. Photographed at Salon U and Bottega Cafe.

Mark Hyde grew up in Birmingham and attended Huffman High School. But his real education started after he left school with a burning desire to go into fashion photography. “After high school, I wanted to go into fashion photography so I got a job at a local modeling agency, assisting the photographer,” Hyde says. Pretty soon he found himself assisting with hair and makeup, too.

“This came so very naturally to me that I just fell in love with it. I then decided to go to cosmetology school to learn to cut and color. That was almost 18 years ago,” Hyde says. He has been at Salon U for a decade now.

Hyde had a great opportunity to work in New York for a time at Ted Gibson. “It was always a dream of mine to live in New York City and I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass, so I took it. I got rid of my car, home furnishings, most of my clothes and countless pairs of boots (he is till pretty upset about letting go of the boots). But most of all leaving my family, friends, my sweet dog Jake, and an amazing clientele that I call my friends was very, very difficult. But I did it, knowing that if I didn’t make the move right then, I never would.”

His time in New York was very exciting. “I experienced two seasons of fashion week, several photo shoots, and plenty of celebrities coming into the salon and out and about elsewhere in the city. It was very cool.” One thing that is even cooler though, he says, is the knowledge that while he worked with amazing stylists in New York “our crew at Salon U can totally keep up.”

As far as his personal style is concerned, being comfortable on a day to day basis is important to Hyde. “I always try to incorporate jeans, boots, and a T-shirt with everything. In fact, that’s usually what I wear. I’ve just gotten more relaxed over the years. I used to be a little more adventurous with fashion, but I feel like I have found a comfy place for myself.”

From his days celebrity watching in New York, Hyde has had a healthy curiosity about what the famous are wearing. “There isn’t just one celebrity I follow to see what they are wearing, but I think David Beckham always looks great. He can be casual yet formal at the same time, which is something I really like. But then again, it is David Beckham. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t really matter what is he is wearing, right.”

Hyde’s fashion and style likes and dislikes are pretty straightforward. “I hate it when guys turn their collars up on a polo, or have jeans hanging off their butts. I hate it when girls wear those ponchy things and part their hair on the side of their head like a comb-over. I hate it when women only style the front of their hair. Guess what, just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it okay.”

His favorites are Dolce and Gabbana, J. Lindeberg and Diesel. “I’ll got to Saks, of course, for jeans, but I find other stuff here and there. I love consignment stores and shops like UAL in Nashville. It’s high-end at a fraction of the price. I like to find stuff I know everyone else isn’t going to have.”

But he really wants back the boot collection he jettisoned on the way to NYC back. “I miss them dearly,” he says.

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