Whether or not you were familiar with him before, you’ve probably heard the name Law Roach recently. Roach has made a name for himself in fashion as a stylist, most notably styling Zendaya. Just last month, he made waves when he suddenly announced his departure from celebrity styling in a since-deleted Instagram post. If his retirement was the first you’ve heard of Law Roach, the massive uproar it caused might seem unnecessary. But, in reality, Roach has had an illustrious career, working with a number of high profile celebrities. From his humble beginnings to his rise to the top, Law Roach has become one of the greatest stylists of our generation.
Roach’s career began in Chicago where he owned a vintage shop called Deliciously Vintage. Though the shop was not very well-known at the time, a visit from Kanye West in 2009 changed everything. When tabloids began talking about Kanye spending thousands of dollars in the store, it quickly became the talk of the town. Roach recalled that incident causing stylists from all around the country to reach out asking for vintage pieces for their clients.
Source: LA Times
Around that time, Roach was first introduced to Zendaya, who he would eventually see as his muse. Back then, Zendaya was known only for her work with Disney, and as he recalled, “Nobody wanted to dress the Disney girl.” Instead of turning her down like a lot of stylists might have done, he took her under his wing and began curating a plan to help “garner her acceptance in fashion.”
As a stylist, or as he calls himself an “image architect,” Roach has always been passionate about his clients. In 2014, he had a vision for Zendaya’s Grammy’s red carpet look, an Emanuel Ungaro dress. The woman working in the showroom told Roach that Zendaya was not ready for a dress like that, but he persisted. He shared that he refused to leave until he got the dress for her, and when he did, she ended up on nearly all of the best dressed lists. This solidified the power of Law Roach and his vision.
The same year, Roach styled Lala Anthony for the Met Gala, his first time ever dressing someone for fashion’s biggest day. When word got out that Law Roach was making such big waves in fashion, his clientele expanded even further and his career started an upward spiral.
One of his biggest breakthroughs as an image architect was Celine Dion. Despite her massive star power and fame, Dion was not seen as particularly powerful in the fashion world. That is, until she began working with Roach. When he took Celine on as a client in 2016 during Paris Fashion Week, he began dressing her in a variety of big brands, namely Saint Laurent and Vetements. This began her journey of becoming a style icon, and she was consequently invited to her first ever Met Gala where Law styled her.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Along with such an impactful career, Law Roach has been honored appropriately. In 2017, he was featured on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 most powerful stylists issue alongside two of his closest clients, Zendaya and Celine Dion. This made him the very first African American stylist to receive this honor. He landed the cover of this issue again in 2021.
Despite all of the success, Law Roach was not happy by the end of his career, which informed his decision to retire. In his interview with The Cut last month, he said, “...You know what? I’ve done everything. I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to move and climb in this industry the way I have. But I can’t say that I didn’t do that without suffering.” When he announced his retirement from styling in March, he was met with a lot of questions and some negativity, but he was also met with the love of everyone who he has helped along the way.
Roach is an insanely talented individual and a trailblazer for people of color in creative spaces. When he spoke to that, he shared, “I want everybody to look at me and see that there's a place for us in this small, small industry.” To say that he has led an impactful career is almost an understatement. Law Roach was one of the biggest stylists of today, and his impact on the world of fashion will likely be felt for years to come.