What’s going on with Law Roach? The stylist’s sudden retirement explained
The star's favourite stylist is retiring at the peak of his career… or is he? HUNGER investigates.
Law Roach has been hitting fashion headlines over the past few days with his abrupt announcement of early retirement. Only this weekend, the accredited celebrity stylist of Zendaya and Celine Dion dressed Hunter Schafer in a stunning Ann Demeulemeester two-piece and Megan Thee Stallion for the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty. Last month, he dressed Zendaya in not one but four showstopping gowns. However, as he graced the Hugo Boss runway last night, his ‘retirement’ may not appear as the be-all, and end-all it first seemed. One commenter summed it all up: “I have no idea what Law Roach is planning to do, but I’m here for it.”
But, his own announcement would suggest differently to this surprise appearance. ‘RETIRED,’ read his Instagram in a big red sign. In the caption, he said, “my cup is empty… thank you to everyone who 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.”
Eek! Referring to an industry he has called home for the entirety of his career, rumours began to swirl around as to why his departure was so sudden. His name struck a chord with stars as he developed a red-carpet style that was completely unique, often pulling archival references and vintage garments. He started his work in fashion when he was in Chicago at Deliciously Vintage boutique, as a friend of Zendaya’s put them in contact so he could style her for Justin Beiber’s Never Say Never premiere. Since she was 14 years old, the two have worked together on every event and project since then, even including costume design for films like Malcolm & Marie with her as the lead. He judged America’s Next Top Model from 2016 to 2018 and collected contacts with some of the fashion industry’s top dogs.
“Stop it,” commented Samira Nasr on his post, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, upon hearing the news. “You will always have a home at British Vogue,” said Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of the magazine. And Naomi Campbell even chimed in, saying, “Law I won’t let you !!!! We don’t quit … strived too hard.”
The conversation from this news is one that explores the industry’s infamous history with mental health, entitlement, and racism. Many are bringing forth a clip of Roach and Zendaya at the Louis Vuitton runway, where he is moved from the front row with no seat. One user on Twitter comments, “people shouldn’t dismiss Law Roach’s feelings and experiences as a Black stylist to A-LIST stars in the fashion industry. The front-row incident at that fashion show was most likely his LAST STRAW, meaning there were most likely more incidents of disrespect/racism he dealt with.”
Photographer Nico Kartel wrote, “Hopefully, Law Roach’s Instagram post creates a healthy dialogue around fashion and how nasty that industry is.” Roach has persistently spoken out against the wrongdoings of the industry and spurred the discussion around mental health. In a resurfaced video online, Roach says, “I’m not afraid of this industry because I’m Black, I’m from the hood, I can always go back. I can always make money; I can always be successful.”
So, is this really the last we will see of Law Roach? Hopefully not, as he may be trading in his scissors for a pair of stilettos in a newfound modelling career. Perhaps this is a statement from the outspoken stylist on how the industry needs to adapt and not perpetuate these entitled rituals that are so often overlooked. So, as much as we would love Roach back in styling, at least he’s not entirely absent from the fashion world. But, still, his damning words on the fashion industry shouldn’t be ignored, and something we all should be taking into consideration as we seek a better future for fashion.