Law Roach: ‘What I’m retiring from is the celebrity styling part of’ fashion

This week, stylist-to-the-stars Law Roach suddenly announced his retirement. People were shocked – he’s arguably the biggest-name stylist since Rachel Zoe, and all of the celebrity women (and many men) want to work with him. He must have had a client waitlist ten pages long. Right after his retirement message, people gossiped about why his retirement was happening – was it burnout, was it about Zendaya, was it about not being seated front-row at the Louis Vuitton show? To which Law Roach says “as if.” First off, he tweeted this message on Wednesday: “So y’all really think I’m breaking up with Z….. we are forever! She’s my little sister and it’s real love not the fake industry love.” So… he’ll still style Zendaya? And then he’s got all of these other projects coming up, like modeling! That’s where Vogue caught up with him this week, just before he walked the runway for the Boss show. Some highlights from Vogue:

Modeling: “Yes! I am excited and nervous. And deeply grateful. I’m grateful that the Boss team sees me as more than just someone who dresses all these amazing celebrities…. I’m releasing the power, and the control. Which is fine. Because I’ve done it so many times, I understand. You know, I’ll use Naomi [Campbell], who’s here tonight as well, as an example. When I’ve worked with her, it’s always: “What do you want me to wear?” She doesn’t come into the room saying: “I’m gonna wear this, this, and this.” It’s the professional in her. She’s always like, what do you want me to wear? What do you want me to do? So I picked that up from people like Naomi and other legends and icons I work with—that you trust the professional, and you let them do their job. And so that’s what I came into this [Boss show] with: whatever you want, whatever you want me to wear—I have no opinions about it at all.”

Whether he’s been working for twenty years: “Twenty years? I’m not that old! My age on the internet is all over the place, so no one really knows! But I count me working in this industry as beginning from when I moved to LA. And I moved to LA in 2014—that’s when my career started.”

What he’s actually retiring from: “I’m not saying I’m retiring from fashion. I love fashion. I love the businesses, and I love being creative. What I’m retiring from is the celebrity styling part of it: the being in service and at service of other people. That’s what I’m retiring from, yeah.”

He’s received a lot of love since his retirement: “Yeah, it’s been overwhelming the amount of love. Because I also work and live in a bubble, in which my clients are my priority, more so than my own health and happiness. And, in my mind, you know, I was doing this [making his statement of retirement] just to relieve some pressure for myself, right? I was riding in the car and I made a decision. I said: “You know what, I’ve done everything I wanted to do in this career. I’ve received all the awards, the accolades, I’ve changed people’s lives…And I just feel like, I’ve had enough, you know? So that Instagram post wasn’t a PR stunt. It was really me giving myself the grace to say: It’s okay. You can do something else.”

His future plans: “When I made that decision yesterday, I stepped back and looked at my life and realized I don’t have anything but that career. I don’t want that to be the legacy… So to answer your question, what I plan on doing is other things. Like what I’m doing today with Boss. I also plan on teaching: I want to be more involved with people who look like me who want to figure out how to have the opportunity to do things that I’ve done, right?… I want that to be my legacy, a legacy that I really helped change people’s lives—and not just the celebrities’ by putting them in the best dress, you know?”

[From Vogue]

He told Vogue after the Boss show that he had a great time and it gave him even more respect for what runway models do. It sounds like Law is figuring out his next moves but he has a smorgasbord of opportunities, from doing more with British Vogue (Edward Enniful is a friend and advisor), modeling, teaching and yes, perhaps staying with some clients like Zendaya. Now that I’ve read this interview, it sounds more like burnout combined with “the creative well is dry” combined with a man who simply wanted a different challenge.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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22 Responses to “Law Roach: ‘What I’m retiring from is the celebrity styling part of’ fashion”

  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Let him take over for Anna Wintour as the creative director at Vogue. THAT would get the industry poppin’ again, with him giving new and diverse designers and models their due!

    • Jenn says:

      I approve this message.

    • ELX says:

      Law Roach at American Vogue—that is a GREAT idea! He has impeccable taste and a real interest in driving the fashion industry forward.

    • Nanea says:

      Yes, please! 💯

      I’m so tired of Anna and her ugly sunglasses, and some of the people she put on the cover, and some of the people she invited to the Met gala.

    • D says:

      That won’t happen any time soon. She will appoint her successor and if it’s anyone it will be Edward Enniful. She has so much power at Conde that she will be in charge of that transition and she’s not ready to give up the power just yet.

    • GoldenMom says:

      Wow, that would be something to look forward to – great suggestion!

    • Noo says:

      What a brilliant idea @thatsnotokay how much fun would that be? Give Mr. Roach an opportunity to rejuvenate from the burnout and take over vogue! He could def teach and develop new talent from that position. In addition to shaping fashion in general.

    • Julia says:


    • Kirsten says:


  2. Snuffles says:

    Excited about his next chapter!

  3. D says:

    It WOULD be exhausting to live your life for your clients’ needs and then they might just move on or not give credit to him. I’m sure he’s at their beck and call and it would get old after a while. You saw it with Rachel Zoe on her show. She would stop everything because Cameron Diaz suddenly had a press thing in London and would call her with 2 hours notice to find 10 outfits and ship them to her overnight. You have to do it because you don’t want to lose the client, but the client doesn’t seem to realize you might have other things going on. It leaves little room for any kind of life outside of that one thing.

    I wish him well in whatever he does.

  4. SophieJara says:

    He’s arguably the biggest name since Rachel Zoe? He’s ARGUABLY the biggest name since Rachel Zoe?
    I just….. I can’t.

    • TwinFalls says:

      I don’t follow fashion, just this website, and this made me laugh. Maybe the quote should have added *to readers of People magazine lol.

  5. Ameerah M says:

    My instinct was that it was burn out. I’m glad he had the insight to know it was time to step away and do what’s best for him.

  6. Velvet Elvis says:

    While I believe everything he says, that he has wanted for a while to expand his horizons and move on to other things…I believe that “something” happened that was the catalyst. It’s pretty clear from his instagram retirement post that there was a final straw moment. His job cannot be easy. So many celebrity egos to please, including his own.

    • Jen says:

      Agreed. there were those words “lies” “false narratives,” so I also believe there was a final straw moment, even if everything he’s saying here is true. I’m happy for him that it’s not all bitterness and he has excitement about new work.

    • Sof says:

      I’ve just read his interview with The Cut: It was a phone call with one of the clients he dressed for the Oscars, her publicist and a brand representative. They were accusing him of not having a dress ready for the Vanity Fair party!
      Some say it was Kerry Washington because he didn’t tag her in his instagram… But who knows.

      • Normades says:

        I worked for a fashion house that dressed her once and apparently she was unpleasant to work with. Demanded a bunch of last minute alterations and wasn’t too kind about it.

      • Normades says:

        But it sounds like the beef is with her team, not her.

      • Snoozer says:

        It wasn’t Kerry. It’s a bit unclear, because his narrative is all over the place and hard to follow; but he had another client who didn’t end up walking the carpet. They ripped their vintage Galliano dress getting out of the car. Then the next day there was some kind of tense conversation, the label rep threw him under the bus and the client – who he’d been working with for years and he thought he had a great relationship built on trust with – believed them that he didn’t have their back. Or so he says.

        There was also some weirdness with Priyanka where he said some things about her body size and sample sizes and she was upset, and he’s saying that what he said was misrepresented (possibly through third parties) and that he dresses thicc women too and honestly it sounds a bit toxic and like back-pedaling but who knows?

        I’m sure it’s a toxic industry in many ways. How much he is a victim of that (being a POC would be so hard – so many racist microaggressions and just straight up racism) and how much he partook in it (weight-shaming?), who can say? If he feels better out, good for him.

  7. crazyoldlady says:

    I love it! He’s putting himself first and thinking about long-term goals. Go Law Roach!

  8. Nina says:

    It sounds that he felt disrespected as well in that role and that there were race and class dynamics at play in that disrespect.

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