“Hey babe. What’s your cell again?”
I still have the DMs from Law Roach he sent me after he graced our July 2021 cover. Cloaked in a floral Richard Quinn cape dress and an opulent canary diamond ring by Bulgari, Law dug so deep into his archive, to style himself, the pieces required security.
Law’s cover put HelloBeautiful on the radar of fashion industry royalty. Names like Bethann Hardison, Sabrina Elba, Jessie J, and Brandy flooded the self-proclaimed Image Architect’s comment section with praises. And all he wanted to do was personally thank little ol’ me. Proud would be an understatement.
Law Roach announced his retirement from fashion, today, with a cryptic but telling caption, “My Cup is empty….. thank you to everyone who’ve supported me and my career over the years. Every person that trusted me with their image, I’m so grateful for you all. If this business was just about the clothes I would do it for the rest of my life but unfortunately it’s not! The politics, the lies, and false narratives finally got me! You win … I’m out.”
The shocking announcement comes days after a viral clip showing the celebrity stylist allegedly left the Louis Vuitton PFW show early after he was denied a front-row seat next to his friend and style muse Zendaya. The Euphoria actress’ appearance at the illustrious presentation sparked rumors she is in contract with the legacy brand.
It may not seem like a big deal, but Law has earned his seat at the table and in the front row and uses his platform to uplift the next generation of Black stylists.
My first encountered with Law was at the red carpet of Alicia Key’s Black Ball in NYC circa 2013. I was positioned at the very end of the carpet, by the door where if you’re lucky enough, a celeb might wave as they trot by into the venue. Back then, Zendaya was transitioning from “Disney star” and I — a nascent reporter eager to capture content to impress my then boss. As Zendaya scurried by, I remember seeing a blur of the now-fashion icon, but with accuracy, I can remember her stylist Law Roach’s palpable confidence and his locs that swayed when he too disappeared into the Hammerstein Ballroom entry.
We’d meet again in 2016, stages further into our career. While I was still grinding for respect under the tutelage of Leigh Davenport and Allison McGevna, Law was in his ascension. Leigh had hired him to style our NAACP Image Awards red carpet host Toccara Jones. And I was going to meet him on a personal level. I hoped he liked me. That night, in the artsy SLS hotel, in Beverly Hills, I was introduced to fashion in a way I had never seen before. Racks of designer garments, fittings, and the art of styling.
Leigh and Law instantly clicked because they were both Chicago-bred. And if there’s one thing I learned about Chi-Town folk, they gon’ rep where they from. She had earned his respect by being her authentic Chicago self and standing in her authority. She had challenged Law on the look and he responded, “I like you,” in the same humbly b*tchy tone he told KeKe Palmer, on season three of Legendary, “you ate that.”
I watched with reverence as he spoke with his eyes that peeked beneath the brim of his baseball cap. It was clear he was a master of his craft and at the crux of it, a self-made man with incredible vision.
The next day, Allison and I visited Law’s LA townhouse to finish the fitting process after alterations. I was nervous as hell, but Law, despite the esteem was welcoming and humble.
Remaining humble is something Law opened up about in our 2021 cover story, penned by Allison Mcgevna, “I may be this ‘celebrity stylist,’ whatever. But at the core of it, I’m paid to do a job.” he says. “And that’s what keeps me humble.”
He also hinted at the dark side of the fashion world, about the gatekeepers who clench opportunities for White stylists, and Black creatives are often excluded from opportunities. “We’re still struggling to be looked at and to be revered as much as our White counterparts,” he said “And while he acknowledges that he is blessed to have been in the rooms and spaces he’s in, he’s also quick to call out the system’s sinister practices,” Allison wrote.
“Somebody has to be in the uncomfortable room and be the only Black creative in the room so that it’s easier the next go-round and more people get the opportunity. Because I think we have to always ask the question, ‘Is it talent or is it opportunity?’ And I think for us, we are the most talented when it comes to fashion and style and a lot of things, we just don’t automatically get the same opportunities that other people get.”
As much as Law loves a fashion reference, he because synonymous with uplifting bipoc
Earlier this year, HBO Max’s Legendary, which showcased ballroom culture, fashion, dance, and competition in an unprecedented way, was canceled. Law’s signature Chicago flare and cut-throat judging style was instrumental to the show’s success. Signs seemed to point at the Warner Bros. Discovery merger as the culprit. Budget cuts and tone-deaf decisions by CEO David Zaslav left the show expendable, and the culture felt the aftershock.
Law Roach is currently trending with fashion enthusiasts uplifting his unforgettable fashion moments and massive influence on Zendaya’s career. In 2019, he single-handedly transformed Celion Dion’s wardrobe. He turned Tiffany Haddish into a fashion it-girl. His work with Lewis Hamilton is a masterclass in men’s fashion. He recently styled Megan Thee Stallion, Kerry Washington, and Hunter Schafer for the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party. And his Herve Ledger collaboration was one step closer to his dream goal of, “lending himself to the masses.” Law made a faceless job mainstream, becoming a personality and laying the blueprint for other stylists-turned-influencers in their own right. He revolutionized the way we look at stylists today.
“I really want that collaboration with Target or Walmart,” he told us. “Something where I can lend myself to the masses. I want to touch the people.”
Law’s Instagram announcement has over 13,000 comments. Among them are heartfelt reactions from Naomi Campbell, NeNe Leakes, Edward Enningful, Christian Siriano, Niecy Nash, and more. Fans are calling for DietPrada to investigate and Jason Lee begged Law to call him.
“Mental health is first,” wrote NeNe Leakes. He briefly touched on his work-life balance in our cover story, revealing he doesn’t practice it. “Balance…you have to take care of yourself and you have to put yourself first, and all that.’ I’m just like, ‘No, I don’t.’” He added, “Having nine, 10 clients at a time, the biggest actors and actresses and musicians and personalities in the world, I love that. I also love being successful. I love when people say that what I’ve done is aspirational and inspirational. That’s what feeds me. And that’s what gives me my balance.”
With much speculation surrounding Law’s retirement, fans are hoping it’s not the end of his relationship with Zendaya. At this point, we’ll just have to sit back, hopefully in the front row, and watch what happens.
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