- Words Colette Fountain
In the week that stylist and image architect Law Roach announced his retirement, we catch up on his career so far, guessing what might perhaps be next.
Celebrity stylist and self-proclaimed ‘image architect’ Law Roach announced his retirement to his 1.2million Instagram followers this week, on the 14th March. Beginning the post with ‘my cup is empty’, he blamed ‘the politics, the lies and false narratives’ for his sudden departure at what many view as the height of his fashion career.
Just one day later, he made his modelling debut in BOSS’ spring runway show in Miami, signalling a shift for the fashion mogul from behind-the-scenes to a more prominent role in the fashion industry. Law Roach first got involved with fashion when he opened a used clothing store in Chicago called Deliciously Vintage following the completion of a psychology degree at Chicago State University.
When Kanye visited the store in 2009 it marked the start of his career in celebrity styling. This flourished with his partnership with Zendaya – his creative muse for over a decade. Reports vary on exactly how the pair met but the general consensus seems to suggest that Law met Zendaya in 2010 when she had achieved fame in Disney’s Shake It Up. Law styled her for Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never premiere and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
In 2016, Celine Dion reached out to Law who became instrumental in helping to redefine Celine as a fashion icon. Following this, he acquired an array of high-profile celebrity clients including Ariana Grande, Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige. While not all of these collaborations have been long-term, they became career-defining not only for Law but for the fashion industry more widely.
In more recent years, Law has become known for his highly-editorial fashion, becoming a staple stylist at the annual Met Gala (he dressed 10 stars at the 2021 gala) and various Hollywood events.
The Met Gala puts Law’s creativity on full display, as he designed a Cinderella-inspired performance centred on Zendaya’s Tommy Hilfiger light-up dress for the 2019 Camp: Notes on Fashion theme, or the pair’s homage to Joan of Arc at the 2018 Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Gala. Earlier in his career, Law also dressed Rihanna at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass Met Gala.
This year, Law was responsible for styling Hunter Schafer for the post-Oscars Vanity Fair party, dressing her in a two piece feather set from the fashion house Ann Demeulemeester, designed by Ludovic de Saint Sernin. This became one of the most talked about moments from the night.
Other career defining moments include the Ariana Grande grey tulle dress at the Grammy’s, as well as his collaborations with Anya Taylor-Joy before she was signed by Dior.
Zendaya is rumoured to be LVMH’s newest ambassador, a move which some believe could be responsible for Law’s decision to take a break from styling. Rumours suggest that he was snubbed at the Louis Vuitton A/W 2023 fashion show, being seated in the second row despite attending with Zendaya who was front row.
While this might seem extreme, Law has been vocal about his criticisms of the fashion industry throughout his career, highlighting the racial and class biases that prevent creatives from getting a fair shot in the industry. He has been particularly vocal about the inaccessibility of internships for those from low-income backgrounds, with little progress being made in the decades since he started working.
A lot of his work has foregrounded the work of emerging artists, helping to launch their careers through his high-profile clients. Thankfully, and much to the relief of many, Roach still plans to work with Zendaya, however, as he tweeted on the 15th: ‘so y’all really think I’m breaking up with Z….. we are forever!’. If his BOSS appearance is anything to go by, Law Roach might be taking a break from certain spheres of the fashion world, but there’s certainly much more to come.