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Celebrity Stylist Law Roach Is ‘Definitely Retiring,' But Not From Fashion - Opens Up About Future With Zendaya & Responds To Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ ‘Sample Size’ Comments

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Law Roach, the acclaimed celebrity stylist known for his work with the likes of Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, and Celine Dion, recently announced his retirement from the industry, sending shockwaves throughout Hollywood. Now, he’s sharing his story about the challenges he's faced as a Black stylist in a predominantly white industry, the complexities of dealing with Hollywood gatekeepers, his relationship with Zendaya, and his plans for the future. More inside…

Law Roach, one of Hollywood's most renowned and esteemed stylists, has dressed some of the most notable personalities in the entertainment industry throughout his more than a decade-long career. His impressive client list includes the likes of Zendaya, Anne Hathaway, Megan Thee Stallion, and Celine Dion, among others. Therefore, when he declared his retirement, the fashion world was taken aback and stunned by the announcement.

Just days after Law Roach dropped a bombshell by announcing his retirement from celebrity styling, we're finally getting some insight into what really prompted the move. In a new interview released by The Cut on Friday, Law Roach sat down with editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner to open up about the real reasons behind his decision.

“I am definitely 100,000% retiring,” he shared. “At this moment, in my mind, I’m definitely retiring from celebrity styling. I’m not retiring from fashion because I love it so much. But celebrity styling, being of service to other people in a way that I’ve been of service to them, I’m retiring from that.”

Despite dressing some of Hollywood's biggest names at the Vanity Fair Oscar party and winning the CFDA Award for best stylist, Law decided it was time to retire from celebrity styling.

“Isn’t always best to leave when you’re on top?,” he laughed. “I think the real reason is that it’s been building for while. I looked up one day and honestly realized that I’m not happy. I haven’t been happy in a really long time.”

The famed stylist said when he made the retirement post, he felt like he couldn’t breathe. Once he let the world know he was retiring, that was the first time he felt like he took a deep breath. He said he doesn’t want to suffer anymore, he doesn’t want to be unhappy, and he doesn’t want to be at the beck and call of people and their teams.

As one of the pioneering Black stylists in the industry, Law’s exit represents a significant loss for diversity and inclusivity in the celebrity styling world. But as he explains below, the move was a necessary step to prioritize his own well-being in a notoriously toxic and challenging industry that often makes it difficult for Black creatives to thrive.

”I want to take some time to figure out how to live,” he shared.

One of the most demanding weeks leading up to the Oscars occurred last week as the stylist tended to several clients. Among his tasks, he outfitted Megan Thee Stallion, Kerry Washington, Hunter Schafer, Hailee Steinfeld, and Eve Jobs for the Vanity Fair Oscar party. The stylist admitted feeling a great deal of pressure, particularly because it was Megan Thee Stallion's first public appearance following Tory Lanez's shooting trial.

“That was a lot of pressure. I wanted to make her [Megan] feel secure and comfortable and make her feel and look as perfect as possible so she can have the strength to do what she had to do.”

On the morning of the Oscars, the stylist received a call from one of his clients, their publicist, and a representative from a brand he was collaborating with. During the call, he found himself having to defend himself against false allegations made by the brand rep. He explained that such situations could cause stylists to lose clients, despite his efforts to always prioritize their protection. Although he believed he had a strong rapport with this particular client, he felt unsupported during the call. The incident left him feeling drained, and it occurred the day after the Oscars where he had dressed the same client for the Vanity Fair party.

”I’m still fighting. I’m still fighting. I’m still defending myself,” he said.

It's unclear on which client he's referring to.

On if his retirement is a PR stunt:

“I think some people want what they want and they’re like, ‘What does this mean for me?’ And I’m like ’It means you have to get another stylist.’ It’s really weird because people are like, ‘It’s a PR stunt. He’s just throwing a tantrum.’ And it’s like, No, I’m not. This is real. I don’t want to suffer anymore. I don’t want to suffer.”

On comments Priyanka Chopra Jonas made about someone telling her she wasn’t “sample-sized.”

He also split with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has made headlines in recent days for saying that she cried to her husband, Nick Jonas, and members of her family after someone told her that she “wasn’t sample-sized.” It has been reported that the someone was Law, but he says that conversation never happened.

“It was a little bit hurtful in a way that it ended up in the press. Because that wasn’t the real conversation. I’ve never had that conversation with her, ever. So again, it is her gatekeepers, how they presented what I said to her to make her feel that way. And if that made her feel bad, that wasn’t — it was taken out of context,” he claims. “But I’m sure it was taken outta context to get her to be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m not working with him no more. He’s insensitive to my body.’ Which I’m like, ‘How is that possible? I’ve been dressing you for literally pre-pandemic, and it’s been nothing but great things.”

On his journey into the fashion world:

Law's most well-known association is with Zendaya, with whom he has had a long-standing relationship. He has often referred to her as family, having collaborated with her since her early days in Hollywood, when she starred on the Disney Channel. Law's styling played a crucial role in Zendaya's rise to fame, as she went on to win an Emmy Award for her role in "Euphoria" and become a blockbuster movie star with Dune. It's undeniable that their work together has helped to elevate her status both in the fashion industry (earning her the title of CFDA fashion icon in 2021) and in Hollywood.

“The way that we came into the industry, nobody wanted to touch either one of us,” he explained. “Like nobody wanted to lend me clothes. Nobody wanted to dress her ’cause at that time, Disney girls wasn’t considered real actresses. So we pinky swore to each other that I would do my part. She would do her part. And we would do it together. And I think that allowed me to circumvent all the other ways that people become successful, the nepotism.”

On being a black stylist in the white-dominated fashion industry and not being recognized by his peers:

“These stylist…these white female stylists grew up with these white publicists and agents. It’s this network I was able to penetrate.

“When I started working with Anne Hathaway, I was the first Black stylist that was working with A-list white talent. And it was a big deal. It was a big deal in the community of Black stylists. I think what it did was show the industry that we are just as talented and that we can do talent other than Black girls. …I didn’t dress Anne at the beginning; I dressed Anne when Anne is Anne. Anne is Oscar-winning, like, Anne is a movie star.

“It’s a pack of us and every time one of us have a win, we feel like it’s a win for the rest of us. Everybody wants the opportunities. Unfortunately, you get more opportunities when you get to the place where you’re dressing white women. Just like everything else in this country, right? You’re validated. Even my career, I’m validated by white establishments. I’ve never been—well, I won’t say never —but I’ve never been invited to the BET Awards. I’ve never been given an award by Essence, or NAACP…I wasn’t even invited to NAACP. All that with Zendaya, I’ve never been invited. I’ve never been celebrated by my own people. It doesn’t matter until you’re validated by the white establishment. And I’ve been lucky to get that validation, but it would mean so much more to me, to be validated and appreciated from my own people.”

On that vrial LVMH video that made people think there was beef between him and Zendaya:

”So we left on time, but I don’t know if our driver went the wrong way, but we got stuck in traffic. Also the way we came in, it was a long walk actually to get your seat. It was a long walk. So it was a lot of anxiety, because Zendaya is really respectful and she doesn’t like people to have to wait on her…So the Vuitton team was like shuffling us as fast as possible to the seats. And so what happened was—we have to remember that we just came from a house where she was the only face, the only ambassador. Even for years, like, I’m always used to sitting next to her. And so, in my mind, my seat was next to her. So when I got there and it wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t a problem, but there was nobody to tell me where my actual seat was. And so the seat behind her, when you see her turn around and touch the seat, it wasn’t her telling me to sit there, it was her telling me like, “That’s Darnell’s seat,” which is her assistant. I’m not gonna sit in Darnell’s seat.”

“…And somebody was like, ‘Law, you have to sit,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know where I’m sitting.’ That became really tough, because it made people think that Zendaya wasn’t taking care of me and wasn’t making sure I was taken care of. And then it became this thing with Delphine Arnault [a Dior and LVMH executive]. I was like, Where did that come from? ...Delphine and the Arnault family have been so kind to me. Like, even after the show, we went to the after-party. I had a whole conversation with her and congratulated her on her move to Dior. She sent me a beautiful bag, and it’s like, there’s no beef.

On pay equality between black and white stylists:

”I know the impact that my work has. I know what the picture means financially and it equates to marketing dollars. And I know that I bring more to the table when it comes to that than a lot of other people. It’s instinctual that we’re not worth as much. There has been programming in this country that we [black people] don’t deserve the same amount or same pay. And it’s across industries, period. We are still fighting to show that we are just as much or more than ‘them.’”  

On being compared to late stylist and VOGUE editor Andre Leon Talley:

”I’m happy that I’m able to be a reference point of a successful black man in this industry of styling because I didn’t have a reference point. And people can make the comparison with Andre [Leon Talley]. It’s really no comparison between my work and career and what he did. And now, this younger generation, and all my fashion babies, have a real reference point to say, ‘Oh, well Law was able to do it, I know I can do it.’ You know, representation is everything. I was still chasing this white woman’s career and that dream. Now, people can say, ‘I want to be able to do what Law did.’ So yes, that…I feel appreciated for that.”

On his relationship with Zendaya moving forward:

“People will say, ‘Oh, you not gonna leave Zendaya.’ But I don’t have to style Zendaya to be a part of her team and her creativity team, right? So maybe if I choose, you know, not to be her stylist, I can still be her creative director and I can still, you know, manage a stylist or however I choose to do it. I haven’t made a decision. She’s giving me the grace to be able to make that decision because we really have a kinship. Like, you know, we’ve grown up together. And that’s all I ever asked, was for people who I worked so hard for to just give me grace when I need it.”

Law wants to expand his horizons beyond just red carpet and personality-driven styling. He envisions himself as Law the person, and is considering the possibility of hosting a talk show or starting a podcast. He seeks to challenge himself and demonstrate that he is capable of much more than just providing a service to others.

Watch his full interview below:

What do you think about Law Roach's decision to retire from styling? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Photo: imagepressagency/Depositphotos

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