U.S. Navy Veteran, Michael Hyacinthe was introduced to artist & designer, Tyler Way by a mutual college professor in 2011. When the two met for coffee, they soon realized the divide between the Veteran & creative communities. Their discussions swarmed around the need to bridge this gap, eventually focusing on utilizing the power of art & its creative process to bring these worlds together for the common good.
At a local Veterans event, Hyacinthe met a wounded U.S. Marine & his full-time nurse. Paralyzed from the neck down & unable to speak due to injuried suffered in Iraq, the young Marine shared his story through a special alphanumeric communication code that was translated with the aid of his nurse. Hyacinthe learned of his love of t-shirts & asked the Marine if he would like to design his own. Seeing the larger-than-life grin come across his face, Hyacinthe called Way to see if they could design a shirt together.
From that first t-shirt design & its powerful creative process, the HERO[series] was created: a Veteran partnered with an artist for the shared mission to tell their story through the mediums of art, design, & fashion.