Hayne is a 1969 graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in anthropology.
He co-founded Urban Outfitters, Inc., in 1970 with former wife, Judy Wicks. The couple divorced a year later. The first store was located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Today, the company operates over 400 stores under four brands: Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie and Terrain, a gardening brand which has standalone stores in Westport, Connecticut, and Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
Hayne's current wife, Margaret Hayne, joined Urban Outfitters in August 1982. He and his wife have been criticized for donating about $13,000 to then-Senator Rick Santorum until 2006, when Santorum lost his seat to Bob Casey, Jr. They also came under fire after Urban Outfitters hastily retracted a shirt advocating support for same-sex marriage in the wake of the passage of California's Prop 8 in 2008. The company later partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights to release a different shirt expressing support for marriage equality in 2009. He has avoided stating his own views on homosexuality. The company also partner with gay YouTuber Connor Franta to sell a limited clothing line at the 8 largest stores to raise money for GLSEN.